Graduate Medical Education (GME): Transfusion Medicine/Blood Banking

Fellowship Program Director: Leonard N. Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

The Department of Transfusion Medicine of the NIH Clinical Center offers a comprehensive two-year fellowship program in blood banking, apheresis, cellular therapy and immunohematology. This patient-oriented transfusion program provides specialized training for physicians who have completed their residency in pathology, internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery or anesthesiology. In the first year the fellow is trained in clinical and laboratory immunohematology, apheresis techniques, tissue typing, donor recruitment, blood component preparation and therapy, and bone marrow processing and cell therapy. Involvement in a clinical or basic research project is the essence of the second year of this program. As a focal point for the provision of blood components and specialized patient care procedures, the Department of Transfusion Medicine provides a unique opportunity for collaborative research with the various institutes at the NIH.

Program Structure
The first year of this program prepares the fellow in every aspect of transfusion medicine. During the first year of fellowship, the fellow rotates through 3 major sections: Laboratory Services Section, Blood Services Section and center for Cellular Engineering. The fellow learns all components of blood banking, including transfusion services, donor evaluation, therapeutic apheresis and adaptive immunotherapy. The program also requires the fellow to be actively involved in Quality Assurance (QA) activities as well as engaged in infectious diseases testing of blood components and HLA typing. Actual "hands-on" laboratory experience is supplemented with a series of lectures by the senior staff and outside speakers. The fellow identifies an area of research interest during the clinical year. It is one of the distinct advantages of the NIH that a variety of research opportunities are available.

During the second year the fellow is able to concentrate on the research project under the supervision of a member of the senior staff. The fellow has access to a state-of-the-art facility with ample laboratory space and equipment. Current research programs include investigations in:

  • Transfusion-transmitted disease
  • Development and evaluation of innovative techniques for cellular engineering
  • Applications of cellular labeling techniques for red blood cell compatibility
  • Molecular (DNA) tissue typing
  • Blood component preservation and storage
  • Therapeutic apheresis
  • Molecular red blood cell and immunohematology
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Granulocyte therapy
  • Allergic Transfusion Reactions
  • Predictive modeling for CD34 yield and donor characteristics.

Additional Information
NIH Clinical Center Transfusion Medicine Fellowship Program

Application Information
Apply to this program through the NIH Graduate Medical Education Application System. There are 3 positions available per year, and candidates should apply at least nine to twelve months in advance. The fellowship assignment is for two years.

The Transfusion Medicine Fellowship Program is accredited by the Residency Review Committee for Pathology of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The first year of training prepares the fellow for the examination in blood banking offered by the American Board of Pathology. Qualified candidates must have board certification or eligibility in internal medicine, hematology, clinical pathology, pediatrics, anesthesiology.

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This page last updated on 05/23/2024

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