Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program

Message from the Director

Welcome to the University of California, Irvine/CHOC Pediatric Hematology & Oncology (PHO) Fellowship Program website. We hope that this will provide you with a better understanding of our program. The UCI/CHOC Pediatric Hematology & Oncology Divisions consist of dedicated teams of physicians, allied health professionals and support staff who provide primary and consultative care to children with a wide variety of benign and malignant hematologic and oncologic diseases. Our mission is to provide exceptional care to patients, to advance research in pediatric hematology and oncology and to educate future pediatric hematologists and oncologists. The UCI/CHOC PHO Fellowship Program is a 3 year ACGME accredited fellowship program that aims to educate the future generation of leaders, researchers, and clinical physicians in the field of pediatric hematology & oncology. The philosophy of our program emphasizes the patient as the best teacher. Therefore, we stress teaching that is patient-centered, believing that the most effective learning is patient-derived.

The UCI/CHOC PHO Fellowship Program is clinically based at CHOC Hospital in Orange County, a large, stand-alone children’s hospital with its own pediatric emergency room, a wide range of pediatric subspecialties, a large pediatric residency program of nearly 30 residents per year, and several pediatric subspecialty fellowship programs, including PICU, endocrinology, and infectious diseases. In addition to a multitude of pediatric subspecialists (including radiation oncology, pediatric pathology, pediatric radiology, palliative care, and pediatric surgery among many more), CHOC houses multiple additional services that provide our patients with the best care possible. These include Child Life Services, music therapy, art therapy, massage therapy, a Chinese medicine team, and pet therapy.

During your time in fellowship, your education will include a year focused on clinical care followed by two years dedicated to basic, translational or clinical research. Throughout these three years, continuity clinics in hematology and oncology provide a consistent longitudinal experience that allows fellows to carry their own panel or primary patients. Our goal is to train the next generation of pediatric hematologists and oncologists who will continue to move the field forward while at the time providing exceptional care for patients and their families.

CHOC’s Hyundai Cancer Institute sees more than 200 new oncology patients annually and is one of the selected sites of the Children’s Oncology Group Pediatric Early Phase Clinical Trials Network (PEP-CTN). This program provides access to early phase trials in developmental therapeutics for patients with recurrent and refractory cancers. CHOC’s Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program is accredited by the Federation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and performs 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 (OPI), Infusionarium, and subspecialty clinics, such as BMT clinic, Neuro-Oncology clinic, and Survivorship clinic.

CHOC 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 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, Vascular Anomalies clinic, and Benign BMT clinic. The Hematology division participates in various basic and translational research projects 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 ten hematologists. They are supported by nurse practitioners, 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.

We are committed to providing fellows with a curriculum that is structured yet flexible enough to allow for adaptation to an evolving field and response to feedback. Our fellowship program is dedicated to helping fellows develop competencies specific to the fields of pediatric hematology/oncology while also committed to the art and science of medicine as defined by the ACGME Core Competencies.

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 cost of living in Southern California.

U.S. Citizens, permanent residents and J1 VISA applicants are encouraged to apply.

Please feel free to email me our call our office if you have additional questions.
Josephine HaDuong, M.D.
Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program

Debbie Liebold
Program Coordinator
(714) 509-8430

Dr. Josephine HaDuong, M.D., Director, Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology Fellowship Program

Dr. Josephine HaDuong, M.D., Director, Pediatric Hematology / Oncology Fellowship Program


Clinical (1st Year)

The clinical year is structured into multiple inpatient and outpatient blocks spread throughout the year. The first year of the UCI/CHOC PHO Fellowship Program is heavily weighted towards inpatient activity, where fellows learn to manage the sickest pediatric hematology & oncology patients. Team may consist of a mix of an attending, a resident, a medical student, and/or a nurse practitioner.

Rotations include the following:

  • Hematology Inpatient (3-4 week blocks)
  • Solid Tumor/CNS Inpatient (3-4 week blocks)
  • Leukemia/Lymphoma/BMT Inpatient (3-4 week blocks)
  • Subspecialty Outpatient Clinics (2 week blocks)
    • Vascular Anomalies Clinic
    • Immunodeficiency Clinic
    • Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic (Benign and Malignant)
    • Survivorship Clinic
    • Neuro-Oncology Clinic
  • Blood Bank/Transfusion Medicine (2 week block)
  • Research (Two 1 week blocks to help identify a research project)

Research (2nd and 3rd years)

The second and third years of fellowship are comprised of 80% protected research time. During this time, fellows will work closely with an identified research mentor to conceive of, develop, and carry out a two-year research project in basic, translational or clinical research.

During the senior years of fellowship, the fellow will also have the opportunity to “pre-attend,” in which he or she will service as a co-attending under the mentorship of the clinical service attending and gain experience in leading the clinical team during rounds, supervising residents, interacting with nursing and other staff, and collaborating with other subspecialty services.


The UCI School of Medicine and the UCI Graduate Medical Education Committee’s mission is to establish an inclusive culture and diverse workforce to promote excellence in medical education, research, and patient-centered care. We strive to have representation, which reflects our diverse community, with different race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, veteran status, disability, and socio-economic identities in the general workforce, as well as in leadership roles.

We are committed to equity in the recruitment and retention of residents, fellows, faculty and senior administrative staff. Our aims are to:

  1. Promote diversity of our residents and fellows in our ACGME-accredited training programs to more accurately reflect our Southern California community.
  2. Mentor and retain more residents and fellows of diverse backgrounds as UC Irvine faculty, thus establishing a more diverse workforce and supporting their career pathways towards leadership roles in academic medicine.


  • Four weeks paid vacation annually
  • Housing Allowance ($7000/year for eligible fellows in AY 2020-21)
  • Annual Education/conference Stipend
  • Annual Book Fund Stipend
  • AAP subspecialty membership, including associated benefits (PREP Hematology & Oncology Questions access)
  • Institution-paid health, dental and vision insurance for residents and eligible dependents
  • Long-term disability and life insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • DEA licensure fee exemption
  • Professional license renewal reimbursement
  • BLS/PALS renewal reimbursement

Conferences and Didactic Sessions

Throughout the three years of fellowship, there are numerous opportunities to participate in and lead formal educational conferences. These include the following:

  • Tumor Board (patient case presentation)
  • Program Director Office Rounds
  • Hematology Noon Conferences
  • Oncology Didactic Lectures
  • Interactive Pathology Teaching (formal sessions at the multi-headed microscope)
  • Palliative and Supportive Care Lectures
  • Morbidity & Mortality Conferences
  • Clinical Conferences
    • BMT team meetings
    • Neuro-Oncology team meetings
    • Recurrent & Refractory Cancer Conference
  • Board Review Lectures
  • First Year Core Curriculum providing teaching across all fellowship programs focusing on research basics (statistics, IRB preparation, protocol development), professionalism, wellness, cultural competency, and other topics common to all pediatric subspecialty fellowship programs at UCI/CHOC.
  • End of the year annual retreat providing a forum for financial planning, guidance for job searches, dedicated time for wellness, and program improvement goals.

Current Fellows


Megan Gooch, M.D.
I am originally from Louisville, Kentucky. For college, I attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington where I majored in Biology with a minor in Spanish. I went on to complete medical school at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. I returned to Louisville for pediatrics residency at University of Louisville School of Medicine/Norton Children’s Hospital. Following residency, I moved cross country to pursue my pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship here at CHOC. My research involves examining a biomarker in the blood and spinal fluid of pediatric, adolescent, and young adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoblastic lymphoma. I am correlating this marker with changes in cognitive function at various time points in a patient’s therapy to determine when cognitive decline and recovery occur. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2-year-old son, and dog. We enjoy going on walks, as well as exploring all that Southern California has to offer, particularly the beaches and numerous hiking trails.

Sonia Morales, M.D. MPH
I served as chief resident after completing my Pediatric residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center prior to starting my fellowship here at CHOC. I attended the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and majored in Biology with a minor in Spanish. I obtained my medical degree from the UCLA Program In Medical Education (PRIME), a dual degree program via the Charles Drew University School of Medicine and Science/ David Geffen School of Medicine. While in medical school, I received my Master of Public Health degree, with an emphasis in Health Policy and Management from the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA. In medical school and residency, my research focused on improving long-term survivorship care among pediatric cancer survivors. My other interests include pipeline programs and mentorship. My current research, under the mentorship of Dr. Huynh, focuses on therapeutic drug monitoring of asparaginase activity to detect silent inactivation in pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia patients receiving peg-asparaginase. During my free time, I enjoy going on hikes and spending time with my 15-month-old daughter and husband.


Clay Hoerig, D.O
I am originally from a small farm town in northwest Ohio. I went to Wright State University in Dayton, OH for my undergraduate degree where I studied Exercise Biology. From there, I went to the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, VA and then to SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY for my Pediatrics Residency. What really drew me to CHOC’s program was the diversity of pathology and clinical interests of the faculty. I am interested in Neuro-Oncology, specifically high-grade gliomas and recurrent Medulloblastoma. As a result, I am in a UCI lab looking at utilizing proteasome inhibitors in the treatment of recurrent medulloblastoma while attempting to create patient derived mouse models. In my spare time, I really enjoy working out, hiking, going to the beach, and checking out local wineries/breweries. Prior to moving here for fellowship, I had never been to California and now I cannot see myself being anywhere else- the weather is fantastic and I really love all the adventures the state has to offer.


Sarah Sahib, M.D.
I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I earned my undergraduate degree at McMaster University. I discovered my interest in Oncology after taking a course on the Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer. In the following year I volunteered at the London Regional Cancer Program to gain further experience. I went to St. George’s University for medical school and completed residency at SUNY Downstate. My oncology rotations further solidified my decision to pursue Heme Onc fellowship. I am so honored and excited to complete my training at CHOC. I have several research interests including immunotherapy, liquid tumors and survivorship. Outside of medicine I enjoy cooking, trying new cuisines, outdoor activities and traveling.



Andrew Sy, M.D.
Palliative Care Fellowship
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, IL

Bhavita Patel, M.D.
Attending Physician, Hematology/Oncology
Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach
Long Beach, CA


Harneet Hara, M.D.
Attending Physician, Hematology/Oncology
Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach
Long Beach, CA

Michelle Pulley, M.D
Attending Physician, Hematology/Oncology
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, CA


Aditi Mehta, M.D.
Attending Physician, Hematology/Oncology
Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach
Long Beach, CA

Nicole Baca, M.D.
Attending Physician, Hematology/Oncology
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, CA


Anthony Chuang, M.D.
Pediatric Specialist, Fountain Valley Regional Hospital
Fountain Valley, CA

Moran Gotesman, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Specialist, Hematology/Oncology
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Torrance, California

Fadi Nossair, M.D.
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Southeastern Virginia Health System – Warwick Boulevard Physicians
Newport News, VA


Tami John, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Bone Marrow Transplant, Hematology/Oncology
Texas Childrens Hospital
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX

Aimee Ford, M.D.


Daisy Cortes, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Specialist, Hematology/Oncology
Childrens Specialty Center of Nevada
Las Vegas, NV


Maritza Ruiz, M.D.
Attending Physician, Hematology/Oncology
Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach
Long Beach, CA

Victor Wang, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Hematology
CHOC Hospital
Orange, CA


Nina Hwang, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Hematology
CHOC Hospital
Orange, CA

Carol Lin, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Oncology
CHOC Hospital
Orange, CA


Erlyn Smith, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Specialist, Hematology/Oncology
Ascension Medical Group
Pensacola, FL

Sang H. Park, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Hematology/Oncology
Texas Childrens Hospital
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX


David Shyr, M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford University
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
Palo Alto, CA


Van Huynh, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Oncology
CHOC Hospital
Orange, CA


David Simon, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Kaiser Permanente Medical Group
Downey, CA


Elyssa Rubin, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Oncology
CHOC Hospital
Orange, CA


Loan Bui-Hsieh, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Hematology
CHOC Hospital
Orange, CA

Amit Soni, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Hematology
CHOC Hospital
Orange, CA


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


Jorge DiPaola, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics, Division Chief, Hematology/Oncology
Professor of Pediatrics, Genetics and Genomic Medicine
Washinton University School of Medicine
St Louis, MO


Ivan Kirov, M.D.
Division Chief, Pediatric Oncology
CHOC Hospital
Orange, CA

Amal Abu-Ghosh, M.D., MBBS
Assistant Professor, Divison of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University
Washington, D.C.

Francisco Bracho, M.D.
Attending Physician, Pediatric Hematology & Oncology, Ventura County Medical Center
Ventura, CA


Robert Sweetman, M.D.
Vice President, Global Affairs, Novartis
East Hanover, NJ

Tulika Seth, M.D.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dept. of Pediatrics
Division 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
Hartford, CT