Department of Medicine
Allergy & Immunology Fellowship
Allergy and Immunology Fellowship
Explore This Fellowship
Welcome to the Mass General Allergy/Immunology Fellowship Training Program. Our mission is to train future leaders who will inspire and push the leading edge of medicine in patient care, teaching and research. We do this by providing outstanding clinical training, a strong collaborative research environment, supportive mentoring and a broad range of educational opportunities. We are excited about training the next generation of academic clinicians and investigators in Allergy and Immunology to move the field forward.
We recruit two fellows each year from trainees who have completed residencies in internal medicine, pediatrics or medicine/pediatrics. The first two years of the program are devoted to fulfillment of the requirements for certification by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. The first year is primarily clinical with a focus on developing excellent clinic skills in the inpatient and outpatient setting. During the first year of training, the fellow is expected to select a faculty preceptor who will provide mentorship in research in subsequent years. The fellowship is accredited by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, a conjoint group that includes input from the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Fellowships are offered to MDs who have completed three years of internal medicine or pediatric residency or two years under the ACGME research residency “short-track.” All applicants are expected to be board eligible (ABIM or ABP) at the beginning of the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship unless in the research residency track. It is expected that the fellows will have passed USMLE Steps I, II and III. Mass General is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from minority candidates.
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Didactic conferences (clinical years) are held on a regularly scheduled basis with attendance required of all first and second year MD fellows and divisional faculty. Attendance is encouraged in subsequent year trainees.
Allergy/Immunology Grand Rounds
Allergy Associates Case Conference
Medical Grand Rounds
Immune Deficiency Case Conference (every other week)
Allergy/Immunology Journal Club
Allergic Disease Mechanism Journal Club
Mass General/BWH Combined Allergy/Immunology Fellows Conference
Boston City-Wide Allergy/Immunology Rounds
- Partners Asthma Center Rounds
- Introductory Course for Allergy/Immunology Fellows and miscellaneous visiting professorship lectures
- During the first two years of training each fellow will attend at least one national allergy conference (AAAAI or ACAAI)
Additional Conferences during the Research Years
Faculty and trainees meet weekly at the Mass General Immunology Seminar Series. This allows trainees to have world-renowned experts in immunology visit and exchange ideas with faculty and trainees. Following the seminar trainees meet these scientists over lunch to discuss scientific issues as well as receive career advice.
Opportunities are available for teaching residents and medical students rotating through the Allergy and Immunology elective programs. Allergy and Immunology fellows are encouraged to participate in and contribute to housestaff conferences at Mass General. The program provides an academic environment, which fosters and rewards teaching activities. This includes the education of medical students, residents, attending physicians, other allied health personnel and patients. Fellows are strongly encouraged to participate and present at the conferences, journal clubs and seminars listed above, and are actively involved in teaching the house staff during the inpatient consultations and as the house staff rotate through the allergy ambulatory clinics. Fellows receive instruction and feedback in counseling and communication techniques.
Evaluations are performed at a minimum on a semi-annual basis by the program director, with input from precepting and supervising faculty.
The core clinical activities of the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship take place at Mass General in the dedicated Allergy and Immunology outpatient suite located on the second floor of the Cox building and on the patient floors during inpatient consultations. Fellows rotate in the Pulmonary and Pediatric Pulmonary clinic, Dermatology clinic, Occupational Health clinic, HIV clinic and with ENT at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. The fellowship does not include in-hospital call. Fellows are on call from home at nights and weekends on a shared basis with other fellows in the program.
The first year fellow participates in the Adult Allergy/Immunology Clinic at Mass General and in the Pediatric Allergy/Immunology Clinics of Mass General for Children and Children’s Hospital, Boston. In these settings, the trainee interacts with patients who have allergic or other rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, hypersensitivity to foods, drugs, or stinging insects, urticaria and angioedema, and other immunologic diseases, including autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases. Fellows are assigned patients whom they treat and monitor longitudinally over the period of their fellowship always appropriately supervised by dedicated attending faculty members. Generally, fellows see an average of three to six patients per half-day session. The experience provides an opportunity to develop an understanding for the natural history of these conditions over an extended period of time. The outpatient experience continues in a limited way in year two to ensure that our MD trainees meet the training requirements of the ABAI and is not required in subsequent research years. The acquired skills include the development of an appropriate differential diagnosis, diagnostic evaluation strategies, and treatment plans. Communicating with the referring physicians and ensuring support for continuing care of the patients’ allergic condition is central to the consultative service.
Inpatient Experience (Consultation Service)
Fellows rotate on the inpatient Allergy/Immunology Consultation Service at Mass General, MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Mass Eye and Ear. The Consultation Service includes the supervised evaluation of inpatient consultations on patients admitted to Mass General and Mass Eye and Ear who present with or develop allergic or immunologic problems, as well as the continued daily longitudinal follow-up of these patients during their hospitalization. A fellow performs literature research on topics appropriate to the case, and will participate actively in the teaching activities to the consulting team, especially as it pertains to house staff. In all cases a written report of consultation is completed in the electronic medical record. At all times immediate faculty supervision is available. Mass General and Mass Eye and Ear serve frequently as tertiary (and occasionally quaternary) referral centers and carry a high census of extremely complex medical and surgical patients. The acquired skills include the development of an appropriate differential diagnosis, diagnostic evaluation strategies, and treatment plans. Communicating with the referring physicians and ensuring support for continuing care of the patients’ allergic condition is central to the consultative service.
As part of the training in the management of allergic and immunologic diseases, the trainee receives in-depth outpatient teaching in pulmonary, dermatologic, otolaryngologic, ophthalmologic and radiologic aspects of allergic and immunologic disorders, as well as clinical immunology laboratory techniques.
A fertile environment for physician-scientists and PhD scientists with an interest in allergic diseases exists in the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Disease (CIID) at the Mass General Charlestown Navy Yard Research Facility. Faculty and fellow collaboration is at the heart of the research training program.
The basic science research training program is focused on training fellows in research in immunology and allergic inflammation. The CIID was established to serve as the basic and translational science foundation for the clinical departments of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Offering a diverse, integrative and interactive training experience, exceptional investigators at Mass General and members of the Harvard Medical School Immunology Graduate Program are also included amongst research supervisors and mentors of our trainees. Basic science techniques are taught in the laboratory and in conferences and course work. Under the guidance of the sponsor, the fellow learns to formulate hypotheses and design experiments to test these hypotheses, to perform laboratory techniques, to analyze data, and to write manuscripts and grants.
The clinical research training program focuses on training fellows in the principles of clinical, translational research and clinical epidemiology in the area of allergic and immunological diseases. The Allergy Clinical Research Unit is located at the Mass General main campus and conducts clinical research and drug trials of allergic and immunologic diseases under the directorship of Dr Daniel Hamilos. The Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology’s Clinical Epidemiology Program is also located at the Mass General main campus and Allergy and Immunology epidemiology training is under the directorship of Dr. Kim Blumenthal.
Each faculty sponsor meets weekly with his or her team, including the trainees; and each sponsor meets individually with each trainee at least weekly. At the end of the year, the entire training faculty will meet to discuss the progress of each trainee. Each fellow has his or her own project, which is carried out under the supervision of the research sponsor. Trainees meet with their sponsors at least weekly. Ninety percent of the MD trainees’ time and effort during the second and subsequent years is devoted to research. In the remaining time, these MD fellows attend conferences and one longitudinal clinic one-half day each week. The usual time for completion of the program is two years of research training, but most trainees will continue working on their projects for three or four years.
Available faculty for Allergy and Immunology trainees:
Dr. Francis Rackemann, a clinician scholar, founded the Mass General Allergy Unit in 1919. He established a large outpatient clinic for the care of patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma. This clinic continues to flourish, under the current leadership of Dr. Aidan Long, offering care to patients with a broad spectrum of allergic and immunologic diseases.
In 1959, Dr. Francis Lowell was appointed Chief of the Allergy Unit based on his ability to conduct clinical research. Drs. Lowell and William Franklin performed the first controlled studies of the efficacy of repeated injections of ragweed pollen extract in relieving the symptoms of ragweed allergic rhinitis. Beginning in the 1950s, there was a dramatic expansion of knowledge in basic immunology accompanied by the realization that immunologic concepts, techniques and therapies were applicable to the care of patients. In 1976, following the retirement of Dr. Lowell, Dr. Kurt Bloch was appointed to head the combined Allergy/Immunology Unit. Dr. Bloch established the Clinical Immunology Laboratory, which provides specialized Immunological testing for Allergy and Rheumatology, as well as for the entire medical community. The Clinical Immunology Laboratory continues to remain an important part of the Division under the new leadership of Dr. Murali. During his 24-year tenure, Dr. Bloch expanded the impact of this Unit on inpatient care. Several novel approaches were developed to desensitize patients who were dangerously allergic to drugs that were essential to their care.
In 2000 following the retirement of Dr. Bloch, Dr. Andrew Luster was appointed Chief of a new Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology (RAI) at Mass General. This new Division includes the former Allergy and Clinical Immunology Unit and the former Arthritis Unit. The impetus for this new initiative was to develop a Division within the Department of Medicine that would focus on the immunological and inflammatory basis of human disease. To accomplish this goal, the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases (CIID) was established as part of the RAI to serve as the basic and clinical science foundation for the clinical departments of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Dr. Luster, the Division Chief, is also the Director of an NIH sponsored training program in Allergy and Immunology Research at Mass General.
Graduates of the Allergy/Immunology Unit have contributed importantly to the field of Allergy and Immunology and hold leadership positions, including John Bienenstock (former medical school Dean, Chairman of Pathology and Professor of Medicine and Pathology, McMaster University School of Medicine), Raymond Dattwyler (Professor of Medicine, New York Medical College), Theodore Freeman (Chief, Allergy Unit, Lackland AFB), Richard Moscicki (Vice President, Clinical, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Genzyme Corporation), Aleena Banerji (Allergy Training Program Director, Mass General) and Iris Otani (Associate Program Director, UCSF Allergy and Immunology Fellowship). Many other graduates of our Allergy/Immunology Fellowship program practice Allergy and Clinical Immunology in the Boston area and throughout the United States.
How to Apply
The Mass General Fellowship in Allergy and Immunology processes fellowship applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) Fellowship Applicant site.
- For questions about the curriculum: Aleena Banerji, MD, Fellowship Director
- For administrative questions: Lauren Baino, Fellowship Coordinator
Interested applicants must submit all of the following documents through ERAS by the second Friday in August:
- ERAS application
- Personal statement
- USMLE transcripts
- Three letters of recommendation
- Valid ECFMG certificate (foreign medical graduates only)
Interviews will be held in September and October 2020.