Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program

Message from the Director

Welcome to the University of California, Irvine/CHOC Children’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program website. The information on this website will serve as an introduction to our program. The fellowship program is a three year ACGME-accredited program encompassing a clinical year followed by two years of basic, translational and clinical research. We are excited about the February 2013 opening of the new hospital tower which will provide individual rooms to our hematology/oncology patients and families.

CHOC Children’s Hyundai Cancer Institute diagnoses more than 120 new oncology patients annually and participates as a Phase I site for Children’s Oncology Group studies. CHOC Children’s Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program is accredited by the Federation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and is performing approximately 25-35 hematopoietic stem cell transplants per year. The Oncology division participates in numerous clinical trials and has an on-site stem cell laboratory. In addition to inpatient care, Oncology outpatient services include the Oncology clinic, Outpatient Infusion Center, and subspecialty clinics, such as BMT clinic and Late Effects clinic.

CHOC Children’s houses the MCHB/CDC Federal grants for the Western Regional Hemophilia Treatment Centers. Our Hemophilia Treatment Center cares for over 500 patients with bleeding disorders with many new diagnoses each year. As a member of the Thalassemia Consortium Research Network, CHOC Children’s treats a large population of patients with significant thalassemic conditions. A special feature of our Comprehensive Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment Center is the close collaboration with the Newborn Screening Program and the Sickle Cell Foundation. Other Hematology subspecialty clinics include Immune Deficiency clinic, Hemangioma clinic, and BMT clinic. The Hematology division participates in various basic and translational research and numerous clinical trials. In addition, the Blood and Donor Services provides emergent apheresis care for exchange transfusions, plasmapheresis, therapeutic WBC pheresis, and stem cell collections.

Our distinguished faculty continues to grow and now includes ten oncologists and five hematologists. They are supported by nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, clinical research staff, and secretarial support. Members of the faculty include internationally- and nationally-recognized experts in various aspects of pediatric hematology/oncology.

The philosophy of our program emphasizes the patient as the best teacher. Therefore we stress teaching before, during, and after patient care rounds as well as didactic sessions that are patient/case oriented.

A vital aspect of our fellowship program is education. Fellows have a weekly core lecture series on topics in hematology/oncology and participate in other didactic conferences including board review, journal club, tumor board, neuro-onc tumor board, BMT conference, recurrent cancer conference, hematology case conference, and noon conferences.

Fellows are paid according to the university/hospital pay scale for trainees based on their post-graduate year. This salary is competitive and considers the high cost of living in Southern California.

Note: Fellowship applications should be submitted through ERAS.

Please feel free to email me our call our office if you have additional questions. My email address is asoni@choc.org and our office number is (714) 509-8744.

Amit Soni, MD
Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program

 Director, Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology Fellowship Program

Dr. Amit Soni, Director, Pediatric Hematology / Oncology Fellowship Program



The clinical year is structured into four week rotations consisting of:

  • Hematology Inpatient
  • Oncology Inpatient
  • Outpatient Clinics (Hematology and Oncology)

The first year fellow will rotate four times through each of the venues.

A four week rotation consisting of:

  • Blood Bank
  • Hematopathology
  • Radiation Oncology


Two years Research are an integral component of the fellowship program. Our fellowship program offers Research in both Hematology and Oncology. Numerous research opportunities are available both in clinical and basic science areas.

Exposure to methodology, ethics, and IRB training is vital to our research rotation. CHOC’s state of-the-art equipment includes A2, Nanogen Microarray Workstation, Thromboelastograph, and Flow Cytometer for basic science projects.

During these two years, participation in two half days of clinic (one each in oncology and hematology) is also required.

Salary and Benefits


Health/Dental Insurance


Educational Resources



Erlyn Smith, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Specialist, Hematology/Oncology

Dr. Smith’s research focus was Hodgkin’s lymphoma. To determine the seasonal pattern of Hodgkin’s lymphoma among young adults using data from California Cancer Registry. She has published ‘Association between Insurance and Socioeconomic Status and Risk of Advanced Stage Hodgkin Lymphoma in Adolescents and Young Adults’ Cancer 2012

Nick Park, M.D.
Attending Physician/Asst. Professor, University of Maryland, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Dr. Park’s focus was to understand the effects of Hydroxyurea (HU) on the Sickle Cell membrane proteome via tandem MS as the primary methodology for protein identification. ‘Hydroxyurea Up-regulates Voltage-Dependent Anion Channels in Human Sickle Erythrocytes’ Abstract American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, 2012 Atlanta


David Shyr, M.D.
Attending Physician, BMT Program, All Children’s Outpatient Care Center

Dr. Shyr’s research focus was in the area of TCF-1 Isoform Expression and Wnt Signaling Pathway in T-Cell ALL “Effect of immune therapy on PNH clone size and bone marrow cellularity”, Abstract Annual Meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Montréal, Canada, 2010.


Van Huynh, M.D.
Attending Physician, Children’s Hospital of Orange Co.

Dr. Huynh focused her research on two areas of Wilms’ Tumor. 1. Epidemiology & clinical characteristics of Wilms’ tumor in California. 2. Risk factors for Wilms’ Tumor. “The Epidemiology and Clinical Characteristics of Wilms Tumor in California” Abstract, American Association for Cancer Research 100th annual conference, 2009.


David Simon, M.D.
Attending Physician – Millers Children’s Hospital

Dr. Simon had the opportunity to focus his research on mutations of the tumor suppressor p53 .  Publication of this research has been submitted.  Also interested in platelet dysfunction, he has published an article entitled “Platelet function defects” in Haemophilia.


Elyssa Rubin, M.D.
Attending Physician – Children’s Hospital of Orange County

Dr. Rubin’s research goal was to understand the underlying mechanisms of tumor progression in Osteosarcoma in order to define targets for novel therapies.  This research was published in Molecular Cancer Therapy.


Loan Bui-Hsieh, M.D.
Attending Physician, Children’s Hospital of Orange Co.

Dr. Hsieh’s primary research project in Factor XIII began with a question in molecular genetics.  Factor XIII has several common polymorphisms often known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that occur in the normal population. Her research studied the effects of these SNPs on clot dynamics as measured by thromboelastrography.

Amit Soni, M.D.
Attending Physician – Children’s Hospital of Orange Co.

Dr. Soni conducted a Phase I clinical, randomized, double-blind, cross-over study to assess safety and pharmacokinetics of a recombinant factor VIII with pegylated liposomes in severe hemophilia A patients.  He is a leading member of our Hematology clinical trials and has a special interest in Hemophilia studies.


Amy Lovejoy, M.D.
Director, Hemophilia Treatment Center Rady’s Children’s Hospital

Dr. Lovejoy’s research included a clinical trial of recombinant factor XIII in patients with factor XIII deficiency. She also performed several related projects. She was awarded a Bayer Fellowship Grant. Her research project has been accepted for publication in Blood.


Jorge DiPaola, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics
The Postle Family Chair in Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders
University of Colorado, The Children’s Hospital

Dr. DiPaola’s research involved determining the effect of platelet glycoprotein polymorphisms on the bleeding manifestations in patients with type 1 von Willebrand disease. This research was published in Blood. He currently is a leading expert on the genetics of von Willebrand disease.


Ivan Kirov, M.D.
Director, Recurrent Cancer Program
Attending physician Children’s Hospital of Orange County

Amal Abu-Ghosh, MBBS
Georgetown University

Francisco Bracho, M.D.
Georgetown University


Robert Sweetman, M.D.
Vice President, Global Affairs, Wyeth Pharmaceutical

Tulika Seth, M.D.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dept. of Pediatrics/Div. of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology New Dehli, India


Joseph Rosenthal, M.D.
Director – Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program
City of Hope Hospital, Duarte, CA


Eileen R. Gillian, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of
Connecticut Medical Center, Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

*Due to changes in the pediatric hematology/oncology program at CHOC, there were no fellows in 2001-2002.

Long Live Childhood

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