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.

Program Details

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 Faculty

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

  • Jennifer Ezirike, MD
  • David Garcia, MD

Second Year

  • Jonathan Beri, MD
  • Lidija Palezac, MD

First Year

  • Samantha Butzkei, MD
  • Stephanie Zacharias, MD



  • Brittany Parlow
  • Shaida Nasiri
Research Opportunities

Research Support and Resources

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 support fellow research activities. This one of kind program provides a designated research team to assist fellow research activities. The team works with fellows and their clinical mentors to support their research projects including bench work, funding core lab service, initial study designing, data analyzing and methods writing for publication.

  • Evaluation of PH Interferference and Accuracy of Pancreatic Enzyme Activity by Direct Pancreatic Function Testing. Jonathan Beri, Heidi Hagerott, Zhaoping He, Zarela Molle-Rios.

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

  • A Phase 2b, Extension Study to Determine the Long-Term Safety of Vedolizumab IV in Pediatric Patients With Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. PI Zarela Molle Rios — enrolling patients in 2018.
  • A Phase 4, Multicenter, Open-label Study of Serum Infliximab Concentrations and Efficacy and Safety of Dose Escalation in Pediatric Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease - “ADAPT”. PI Zarela Molle Rios – enrolling patients.
  • Immunohistochemistry Expression of Cytokines for Diagnosing Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Proton Pump Inhibitor-Responsive Eosinophilic Esophagitis, and Gastroesophageal Reflux in Pediatric Patients. (Shaida Nasiri and Molle Rios)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Serological Markers in Children With Celiac Disease and non-Celiac Disease: A Retrospective Study (Dr. Del Rosario and Dr. He).
  • 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).
  • Impact of Premedication With Steroids on Formation of Antibodies to Infliximab and Infusion Reactions in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). (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)
  • Retrospective Analysis of the Correlation Between Fecal Calprotectin Levels and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Activity.
  • Evaluation of Gastroesophageal Reflux by Detecting Gastric Pepsin A in Salivary Swabs: Correlating With Impedance/pH Monitoring. (Dr. Al-Atrash and Dr. Molle Rios)
  • Effect of Proactive Infliximab Concentration Monitoring on Clinical Remission in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). (Dr Gijkopulli and Dr Molle Rios)

In Process

  • Evaluation of pH interference and accuracy of pancreatic enzyme activity by direct pancreatic function testing (Dr. Molle Rios and Dr. He)
  • Role of Oncostatin-M in Anti-TNF Refractory Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Dr. Molle Rios and Dr. He)

Clinical Trials

  • Personalized Research on Diet in Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease PRODUCE study with the Improve Care Now network – Series of N- of 1 trials. Enrolling patients
  • Pursuit2 — Sponsored by Johnson and Johnson 2018 — ongoing
  • A Phase 3 Randomized, Open-Label Study to Assess the Efficacy, Safety, and Pharmacokinetics of Golimumab Treatment, a Human anti-TNFα Monoclonal Antibody, Administered Subcutaneously in Pediatric Participants With Moderately to Severely Active Ulcerative Colitis — Enrolling patients
  • FREE A food additive removal diet for pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis In collaboration with Nemours Orlando and Seattle Children’s Hospital — Enrolling patients
  • Clinical Outcomes of Methotrexate Binary Treatment With INfliximab or Adalimumab in PracticE (COMBINE) — With Improve Care Now — enrolling patients.
  • Personalized Research on Diet in Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease (PRODUCE) — With Improve Care Now — enrolling patients in February of 2018.
  • A Phase 2, Randomized, Double- Blind, Dose-Ranging Study to Determine the Pharmacokinetics, Safety and Tolerability of Vedolizumab IV in Pediatric Subjects With Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease. PI Zarela Molle Rios — enrolling patients in 2018.

Learn More About Research at Nemours »

About Our Hospital

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 Nemours/Alfred I. 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.

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

Fran Hackett, MHA

Fellowship Coordinator
(302) 298-7867

Zarela Molle-Rios, MD

Program Director
(302) 651-5928

Apply for This Fellowship

Application Requirements
Deadline: September 1, 2019
Training Begins: July 1, 2020
  • 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.