Explore This Fellowship

Welcome

Welcome to the Massachusetts General Hospital 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.

Program Overview

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.

How to Apply

The Mass General Hospital Fellowship in Allergy and Immunology processes fellowship applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) Fellowship Applicant site.

Related inquiries:

Interested applicants must submit all of the following documents through ERAS by the second Friday in August 2020:

  • ERAS application
  • CV
  • Personal statement
  • USMLE transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Photo
  • Valid ECFMG certificate (foreign medical graduates only)

Interviews will be held in September and October 2020.

Additional information:

Curriculum

Conferences

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.

Weekly Conferences

  • Allergy/Immunology Grand Rounds
  • Immunology tutorial
  • Allergy Associates case conference
  • Medical Grand Rounds
  • Immune deficiency case conference (every other week)

Monthly Conferences

  • Allergy/Immunology Journal Club
  • Allergic Disease Mechanism Journal Club
  • Mass General/BWH-combined allergy/immunology fellows conference
  • Boston city-wide allergy/immunology rounds

Quarterly Conferences

  • Partners Asthma Center Rounds

Annual Conferences

  • Weeklong introductory course for allergy/immunology fellows through Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • 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 the faculty and trainees. Following the seminar, the trainees meet these scientists over lunch to discuss scientific issues as well as receive career advice.

Teaching Opportunities

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 house-staff 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 in 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

Evaluations are performed, at a minimum, on a semiannual basis by the program director with input from precepting and supervising faculty.

Clinical Training

Clinical Experience

The core clinical activities of the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship take place at Massachusetts General Hospital 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.

Ambulatory Experience

The first year fellows participate in the Adult Allergy/Immunology Clinic at Mass General and in the Pediatric Allergy/Immunology clinics of MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Boston Children’s Hospital. 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 3-6 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 Massachusetts 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 followup 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.

Elective Rotations

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.

Research Training

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-East 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 clinical 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 Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology's Clinical Epidemiology Program focuses on training fellows in the principles of clinical research in the area of allergic and immunological diseases. Directed by Kimberly Blumenthal, MD, and located within the Mass General Department of Medicine's Mongan Institute, faculty members train fellows in research related to allergic and rheumatologic diseases using clinical research methods that include advanced informatics, clinical epidemiology, primary data collection and simulation science.

Fellows may apply for admission to the Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which is designed for individuals who want to develop their quantitative and analytic skills for clinical research. After completing this program, fellows may choose to go on to complete their master's degree in clinical epidemiology or public health. 

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.

Faculty

Allergy

Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, Immunology Clinical Epidemiology Program

Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases


Fellows

Caitlin BurkCaitlin Burk, MD
Class of 2022

Hometown: Durham, North Carolina
University: Columbia University (undergrad), University of North Carolina (medical school)
Residency: UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Favorite Food: steamer clams, the mini candy bars in the DRAI office
Favorite Hobbies: going on walks that end up being way too long, dance classes (right now through YouTube…), cooking, reading science fiction
Fun Facts: I was born on Thanksgiving
Where do you live: Across the street from the hospital
Research Interests: I enjoy learning about and caring for patients with food-triggered processes like food allergy, eosinophilic esophagitis and FPIES. Specifically, I am interested in developing better diagnostic testing/food trigger identification, in figuring out whether we can predict who will develop these diseases and in food immunotherapy (mechanism, outcomes, side effects, biomarkers that predict success). Unless something dramatically changes, I am planning to go back to the lab for my research time. 
Personal Statement: I am trained as a pediatrician and would like to be a physician-scientist focusing on projects that combine both the laboratory and the clinic. I chose Mass General because of the wealth of physician-scientist role models and support for early-career faculty, resources both in the form of subjects/samples/existing clinical trials and in the form of cutting-edge laboratory science both at Mass General and the Broad Institute and the nationally/internationally known expertise of our food allergy group. Now that I’m here, I’m also excited to learn all I can about drug allergy from the extensive work our department does in evaluating antibiotic allergies and in chemotherapy desensitization. So far, I am enjoying both my adult and pediatric clinical training and look forward to seeing what the subsequent years bring!

 

Dan Digiacomo, MDDan Digiacomo, MD
Class of 2022

Hometown: Palisades, NY
University: Colgate University (undergrad), Tulane University SOM (medical school)
Residency: Children’s National Medical Center
Favorite Food: Chicken Pho 
Favorite Hobbies: Rollerblading with my wife, watching hockey and playing with my daughter!
Fun Facts: I taught myself how to rollerblade and started my own hockey team in medical school … of which I am still the only member
Where do you live: Charlestown
Research Interests: Food allergy/epidemiology (Not sure exactly where I will land yet!)
Personal Statement: I grew up in Rockland County, NY, moved down to New Orleans for medical school and have been making my way up North ever since. I was drawn to the program at Mass General because I felt it had the best combination of amazing people, mentorship and research opportunities. I cannot how understate how wonderful and supportive the Allergy Group is at Mass General!



Tina Motazedi, MDTina Motazedi, MD
Class of 2021

Dr. Motazedi completed her MD at UT Health Science Center San Antonio. Prior to starting medical school she was a clinical research coordinator at Mass General where she worked on mathematical models and simulations to study and predict the efficacy of cancer therapies. She completed her internal medicine residency at Baylor College of Medicine. There, she worked on an informatics project looking at patterns of medical codes to help with earlier diagnosis of immunodeficiency disorders. Now, as a second year fellow, she is working in the Anthony Lab, which is part of the CIID at Mass General. The lab focuses on the role and regulation of immunoglobulin glycosylation in various diseases including allergy. She is specifically looking at IgG and IgE glycosylation as biomarkers of allergy in serum of patients completing peanut oral immunotherapy and also deciphering the variable downstream functions of these glycoforms and their ability to activate human mast cells and other immune cell receptors. They hope this work will give more insight into the mechanism of allergic disease and pave the way for novel therapeutics.



Elizabeth Yakaboski, MDElizabeth Yakaboski, MD
Class of 2021

Dr. Yakaboski completed her MD training at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. While there, she worked on in vitro expansion of umbilical cord blood derived stem cells for transplant as well as the preclinical development of an anti-CD4 CAR-NK cell immunotherapy for T-cell malignancies. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Weill Cornell. Her research interests there centered on the prevalence of lymphoproliferative disease in CVID. Now, as a second year Allergy and Immunology Fellow at Mass General, her research under the mentorship of Dr. Carlos A. Camargo, Jr., focuses on the relationship between age of peanut introduction and development of IgE-mediated peanut allergy in an ongoing cohort of children with a history of bronchiolitis (MARC-35). 



Nicole Lahood, MDNicole Lahood, MD
Class of 2020

Dr. LaHood completed her medical school training at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She then went on to internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and subsequently joined the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she is currently in her third year as a research and clinical fellow. Broadly, she is interested in the mechanism by which antibodies contribute to the pathophysiology of atopic diseases. Her research interests are inspired by her patients and therefore her work focuses on translational projects that are applicable to the clinical space. She is currently working under the mentorship of Dr. Sarita Patil and Dr. Wayne Shreffler on characterizing antibody structure and function in patients with peanut allergy who remain tolerant to peanut and those who lose tolerance after oral desensitization. Specifically, she aims is to define the differences between antibodies in these phenotypically dissimilar patients and potentially exploit these differences to engineer more efficient protective antibodies against peanut allergy. In the future, she also plans to apply her skills in antibody science to explore potential mechanisms of chronic urticaria.

 

Fellowship Life

Fellowship lifeOne of our focuses is on promoting wellness and community within our fellowship and our division. To do this, we have a coaching program that matches fellows with non-supervisory faculty coaches who provide emotional and professional support to fellows to help them understand and use their strengths. We also organize activities that promote community and let us have fun together including:

  • Annual weed walk
  • Book club
  • AAAAI 5K Run/Walk
  • Fall Apple Picking
Fellows gather for a photo
Fellows gather for a photo
Above: Fellows pose for photos during recent outings.

History of the Program

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 the chief of a new Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at Mass General. This new division includes the former Allergy and Clinical Immunology Units 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 was established as part of the DRAI 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 the 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 (chief medical officer, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America), Yung Chyung (chief medical officer, Scholar Rock), John Leung (assistant professor, director of Center for Food Related Diseases, Tufts University School of Medicine) and Iris Otani (assistant professor, associate program director, UCSF). Many other graduates of our Allergy/Immunology Fellowship program practice allergy and clinical immunology in the Boston area and throughout the United States.