Epilepsy Neurogenetics Fellowship Program

Overview

The CHOP Epilepsy Neurogenetics Fellowship Program is a one-year clinical and research fellowship to provide advanced training in epilepsy genetics and epilepsy precision medicine in the domains of clinical practice, clinical and/or translational science, teaching, and patient advocacy. Recognizing the strong link between clinical care and translational and basic research, the fellowship will be comprised of 20% clinical time and 80% research time.

Fellowship training program director

Ingo Helbig, MD

Division chief

Brenda Banwell, MD

Clinical activities

The Epilepsy Neurogenetics Fellowship Program is part of the CHOP Epilepsy Neurogenetics Initiative (ENGIN), a new program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that integrates genetic testing into the diagnosis and treatment of children with epilepsy. ENGIN combines cutting-edge clinical care and advanced genetic testing with innovative research to identify causative genetic variants to develop an individualized treatment plan.

As one of the largest and most comprehensive epilepsy genetics programs in the country, ENGIN has a core staff of seven neurology attendings specialized in the care for children with genetic epilepsies. This team is supported by a large regional epilepsy program with 20 pediatric epileptologists, and a clinical division with 50+ neurologists, 13 advanced practice providers and three genetic counselors.

Research opportunities

Given that epilepsy genetics is at the frontier of medical care, there is strong connection between clinical care and clinical, translational and basic research. The leadership team of the Epilepsy Neurogenetics Initiative recognizes the tight link between clinical care and research and will protect a significant amount of time during the fellowship for independent research activities. For the research projects selected by the trainee, ENGIN faculty will provide mentorship with experienced research mentors at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.

Curriculum

The core curriculum of the CHOP Epilepsy Neurogenetics Fellowship Program is specifically designed to acquaint the trainee with all aspects of epilepsy precision medicine and epilepsy genetics, including indications and interpretation of genetic testing, choice and indications of precision medicine approaches, familiarity with the common and rare genetic causes of childhood epilepsies and neurodevelopmental disorders, and approaches to common clinical scenarios. The clinical training will be supplemented by optional electives in other specialties including mitochondrial medicine, genomics diagnostics and adult neurogenetics. 

Requirements for applicants

Training requirements for the CHOP Epilepsy Neurogenetics Fellowship Program include:

  • Completion of five years of combined Pediatric-Child Neurology Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited residency, four years of Medicine-Adult Neurology ACGME-accredited residency, or comparable qualification for international medical graduates. Adult neurologists should have completed at least three months of training in child neurology.
  • Current valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States
  • Board certified or eligible for certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, or comparable certification or eligibility

The following are highly encouraged, but not required:

  • Completion of an ACGME-accredited epilepsy fellowship prior to or after the Epilepsy Neurogenetics Fellowship
  • Prior experience in epilepsy genetics and epilepsy precision medicine, such as participation in research or clinical projects related to epilepsy genetics

Weekly schedule

The CHOP Epilepsy Neurogenetics Fellowship Program is centered around the outpatient clinic of the CHOP Epilepsy Neurogenetics Initiative (ENGIN), which takes place on Mondays and Fridays from 8 a.m. – noon. Trainees have the option to attend a variety of clinical and research meetings related to epilepsy precision medicine and epilepsy genetics (link to schedule) and will accompany the ENGIN attending and genetic counselor on call for inpatient consults. A substantial amount of time will be reserved for independent study and research.

How to apply

The following items are required to apply to the Epilepsy Neurogenetics Fellowship Program:

  1. Common application (PDF)
  2. Three (3) Letters of Reference (LORs)
  3. Dean’s letter aka Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE )
  4. Medical school transcript
  5. Curriculum Vitae
  6. Personal statement
  7. Photograph
  8. USMLE Parts 1, 2 (ck and cs if applicable) & 3 score transcript(s)
  9. ECFMG Certification if graduated from a medical school outside the U.S., Canada, or Puerto Rico
  10. Visa documentation if not a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

Please submit applications via email to Ashley Rees-Jones at reesjonesa@email.chop.edu. If items need to be mailed, they can be mailed to:

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Pediatrics-Child Neurology Division/Epilepsy Fellowship
Colket Translational Research Building, 10th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Attn: Ashley Rees-Jones, NCERT Program Coordinator

If you have any questions at any time during the application process, please contact Ashley Rees-Jones at 215-590-1722 or by email at reesjonesa@email.chop.edu.

Tobacco-free hiring policy

To help preserve and improve the health of our patients, their families and our employees, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a tobacco-free hiring policy. This policy applies to all candidates for employment (other than those with regularly scheduled hours in New Jersey) for all positions, including those covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Job applicants who apply after July 1, 2014 will be expected to sign an attestation stating they’ve been free of nicotine or tobacco products in any form for the prior thirty (30) days. They will also undergo a cotinine test as a part of the Occupational Health pre-placement drug screen administered after the offer of employment has been accepted but before the first day of hire.

Exemptions: Attending physicians (excluding CHOP physicians in the Care Network), psychologists, principal investigators and/or Penn-based faculty are exempt from this process to better align with our colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.