Gastroenterology Fellowship

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.

The Pediatric Gastroenterology Fellowship Program at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, in affiliation with Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University (TJU), trains physicians in advanced skills in pediatric gastroenterology. Our 3-year program provides comprehensive specialty training in gastroenterology (GI), hepatology and nutrition.

You’ll learn to diagnose and treat children with acute and chronic diseases of the digestive system and nutritional disorders, as well as gain broad-based research experience in basic or clinical sciences. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in accordance with the guidelines of the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

Our Fellowship Program

The Nemours Gastroenterology Fellowship Program provides stimulating clinical training in gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition and exposure to liver transplantation. Our dynamic group of faculty clinicians and researchers are committed to helping you attain a quality education. Our fellows attend weekly educational sessions in addition to monthly pathology, radiology and physiology conferences and combined surgical rounds. Fellows also present and attend topic oriented journal clubs through out the year.

You’ll have opportunities to learn the indications, risks, benefits and techniques of performing procedures such as upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, percutaneous liver biopsy, capsule endoscopy, esophageal dilatation, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube insertions, variceal banding, pH/impedance probes and motility studies at our state-of-the-art pediatric GI endoscopy suite. You’ll learn to teach and mentor residents and medical students. You will conduct your own clinical or basic science research project under the supervision of one of our faculty members.

Training Overview

Our GI fellowship program will provide training in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. Rotations include the GI inpatient service, the GI inpatient consultation service, the GI outpatient service as well as research and elective rotations. Fellows also attend their own continuity clinic a half day per week in which they will follow their own patients throughout the 3 years of fellowship. In-hospital electives include pediatric surgery, pathology and radiology. We also have an active liver transplantation program and our fellows do a month’s rotation on the liver transplant service.

Our fellows participate in and gain exposure to in-hospital committees and quality improvement projects. On a wider scope, our fellows participate in the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition fellows’ conferences in addition to other national and international meetings.

Valuable Clinical Experience

You’ll also gain valuable experience participating in the care of children who are followed in our specialty clinics such as those that focus on patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease and bowel dysfunction. Fellows will also attend liver clinic during their outpatient rotation. On their inpatient rotations, our fellows learn the intricacies of providing total parenteral nutrition as well as the management of complications that may result from this type of nutritional support.

During the on-call component, you’ll have experiences that improve several aspects of your competency-based training, including patient care, knowledge, interpersonal communications, professionalism, systems-based practice and others. You’ll work directly with emergency department staff and referring physicians doing urgent patient evaluations and other important activities.

Proficiency in GI Diagnostics and Procedures

During your training you’ll become proficient in a wide range of specialized GI diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, such as:

  • Diagnostic EGD (and biopsy)
  • Diagnostic colonoscopy (and biopsy)
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy (and biopsy)
  • Ileoscopy via ileostomy (and biopsy)
  • Polypectomy
  • Paracentesis
  • Hemostasis in GI bleeding
  • Variceal band ligation, sclerotherapy, heater probe, argon plasma coagulation
  • Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy
  • Liver biopsy
  • Dilation of esophageal strictures
  • Foreign body retrieval
  • Rectal suction biopsy
  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Esophageal pH-multichannel impedance
  • Breath hydrogen testing
  • Pancreatic stimulation
  • Calorimetry

During your second and third years, you’ll be able to choose electives that add to your knowledge in such GI-related disciplines as transplantation, pathology, radiology and surgery.

Our Physicians

We have eight full time physicians in the division of gastroenterology with expertise in all areas of our discipline.

Learn more about our physicians:

Our Research Scientist

Zhaoping He, PhD
Associate Research Scientist/GI Research Lab Scientific Director

Current Research:
Extra-esophageal reflex related upper airway complications, celiac disease, pancreatic deficiency, IBD and noninvasive clinical marker development.

Our Fellows

Third Year

  • Arieda Gjikopulli, MD
  • Amaka Akalonu, MD

Second Year

  • Sana Mansoor, MD
  • Heidi Hagerott, DO

First Year

  • Shaida Nasiri, MD
  • Brittany Parlow, MD

Research Opportunities

As an integral part of your fellowship experience, you’ll receive thorough training in research as it relates to the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition. The research component will focus primarily on scholarly activities during the first year and either basic science research or clinical projects during the second and third years.

Scholarly Activities

Training in the scholarly experience begins in the first year of the fellowship and continues throughout your training. You’ll develop the full range of requisite skills for research, from project design to completion and presentation to our scholarship oversight committee, in accordance with American Board of Pediatrics certification requirements.

GI Research Lab

Our state-of-the-art GI Research Lab, located on the campus of duPont Hospital for Children, is currently engaged in a variety of research-related activities, including:

  • Identification of macrolipase, macroamylase and gastric lipase from remnant serum samples
  • Plasma levels of ghrelin and obestatin in children with failure to thrive and obesity
  • Retrospective analysis of digestive enzyme activities in comparison to the histological changes and clinical characteristics of children
  • Efficacy of montelukast versus oligoantigenic diet in the treatment of esoinophilic esophagitis (EE) and use of serum and stool ECP in the follow-up of EE
  • Open-label safety and efficacy study of reslizumab (CTX55700) for the treatment of pediatric subjects with eosinophilic esophagitis who completed study RES-5-0002
  • Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in pediatric irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia (a pilot study)

Active Research

Your second and third years will include more hands-on work in either basic science research or clinical projects. You’ll use knowledge gained in the first year to design and execute a study, from concept to completion and presentation, under the supervision of one of our faculty members.

Completed Research

  • Impact of Premedication with Steroids on Formation of Antibodies to Infliximab and Infusion Reactions in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease. (Dr. Gjikopulli and Dr. Molle-Rios)
  • Difference in the frequency of alpha-1-antitrypsin phenotype between children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/ nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NAFLD/ NASH) and normal population. (Dr. Maheshwari and Dr. Furuya)

In Process

  • Combined Multichannel Intraluminal Impedance-pH (MII-pH) in infants and children; proposing normal range values as guidelines for study interpretation. (Dr. Gjikopulli and Dr. Shaffer)
  • Retrospective analysis of the correlation between fecal calprotectin levels and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) activity. (Dr. Akalnou and Dr. Del Rosario)
  • A Study of the Association of Genetic Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (GSID) Allele Frequencies from Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) Tissue Samples with Low Sucrase Activity. (Dr. Molle Rios and Dr. He)
  • The Role of Guanylyl Cyclase C and its ligands in pediatric obesity: a retrospective study in tissue protein expression differences of Guanylyl Cyclase C, a gut enzyme, and its ligands guanylin and uroguanylin, between obese and normal weight adolescents. (Dr. DiGuglielmo)
  • The Role of Guanylyl Cyclase C and its ligands in pediatric obesity: a prospective study to measure the level of an intestinal hormone (Uroguanylin) in response to a meal eaten by adolescents to evaluate the effect on appetite. (Dr. DiGuglielmo)
  • Evaluation of Gastroesophageal Reflux by Detecting Gastric Pepsin A in Salivary Swabs: Correlating with Impedance/pH monitoring. (Dr. Al-Atrash and Dr. Molle Rios)

Learn More About Research at Nemours »

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is like no other in the region — designed by families, for families.

About Our Hospital in Delaware

The duPont Hospital for Children is a multispecialty, tertiary care teaching institution located on a 300-acre estate in the scenic Brandywine Valley in Wilmington, Del.

As a program participant, you’ll have access to advanced computer systems for patient care activities, electronic mail, word processing, internet access and library research functions. Among the hospital’s amenities for all staff are:

  • free parking
  • park-like setting
  • gym/fitness center
  • on-site child care center for children of staff
  • massage therapy

Learn More About duPont Hospital for Children »

Contact Us

Julia Rowan

Program Coordinator
(302) 651-4555

Zarela Molle-Rios, MD

Program Director
(302) 651-5928

Apply for This Fellowship

Application Requirements
Deadline: August 2016
  • curriculum vitae
  • personal statement
  • medical school transcript
  • USMLE scores (all 3 levels)
  • three references

We begin offering interviews to fellowship candidates in July of the year before the start of the fellowship. The actual interview process will take place roughly between August 1 and October 1 of the preceding year.