Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship

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Program Mission

The University of Colorado Anschutz’s Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship’s mission is to train exceptional pediatric nephrologists through the development of robust functional knowledge, clinical skills, and research expertise. This is achieved by providing trainees with exposure and training in rich, diverse environment with opportunities for direct inpatient, dialysis, and consultative patient care.

In addition, trainees will gain knowledge and skills to become productive academic physicians. They will have the opportunity to pursue clinical and/or laboratory-based research as well as acquire the necessary skills for quality improvement science. Instruction regarding study design, epidemiology, and biostatistics will be available through the research mentor, pediatric nephrology faculty, and the didactic curriculum. Multiple scholarly opportunities exist in the department and medical school.

Diversity and Inclusion

As a pediatric nephrology training program, we aspire to build and maintain an infrastructure to recruit diverse fellows and provide an inclusive learning environment that promotes and celebrates differences.

Program Aims

We aim to provide a comprehensive curriculum for our trainees with guidance from outstanding mentors so that our graduates will become:

  1. Provide compassionate, effective, evidence-based clinical care to children with kidney disease 

  2. Develop as teachers both of patients and families, as well as of other trainees at various levels providing care to our patients with kidney disease in the inpatient and ambulatory settings 

  3. Develop proficiency in providing care in a multi-disciplinary care model of children with end-stage renal disease and following kidney transplantation

  4. Become skilled in the technical aspects of pediatric nephrology care, including acute renal replacement therapy procedures and percutaneous renal biopsies

  5. Engage in scholarship to foster growth in critical thinking skills, application of the scientific method to clinically relevant gaps of knowledge in the field, and dissemination of acquired knowledge.

  6. Develop the clinical competencies to manage a wide spectrum of kidney disease, hypertension and urinary abnormalities in infants, children and adolescents.

  7. Be able to manage patients requiring all modalities of renal replacement therapies including kidney transplantation.

  8. Understand the role of the pediatric nephrologist in assisting primary care providers in the care and management of children with kidney disease and hypertension.

  9. To build and maintain an infrastructure to recruit diverse fellows and provide an inclusive learning environment that promotes and celebrates differences.

Program Overview

Fellows complete one year of clinical training and two years of scholarly training to prepare for a career that combines clinical pediatric nephrology with clinical/translational investigation, basic laboratory investigation, health services research, educational scholarship, or other areas of academic focus. The fellowship is designed to meet the requirements of the ACGME, prepare fellows for the American Board of Pediatrics subspecialty certification examination, and allow fellows to follow their own passion in contributing to progress in the field of pediatric nephrology.

Our program is based primarily at Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHCO), with adult clinics and research programs at the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) andUniversity of Colorado School of Medicine, all based at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. CHCO is consistently in the top ten best children's hospitals in the nation and was named one of the most innovative children's hospitals in the nation in 2018 by Parents Magazine. It has a Magnet Status, as awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and was given the prestigious McKesson Quest for Quality Prize, which is awarded to one hospital every year for demonstrating a commitment to safe, reliable and quality patient care.

Our pediatric nephrology program faculty is closely aligned with the adult nephrology program at UCH, offering a full spectrum of nephrology clinical experiences and research opportunities.

Program Leadership

            headshot                        Faculty Profile | School of Medicine | University of Colorado Denver

​Program Director

Eliza Blanchette, MD

Assistant Professor

Email: Eliza Blanchette

Associate Program Director

Eric Benz, MD

Assistant Professor

Email: Eric.Benz

The first year of fellowship will be devoted primarily to direct clinical care. Trainees will gain experience in the evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of children and adolescents with the full spectrum of nephrologic conditions seen in the inpatient, outpatient and dialysis settings. They will learn how to field phone calls, determine urgency, perform appropriate physical examination, order and interpret labs, and initiate and manage treatments.

In addition, fellows will have the opportunity to partake in other clinical elective experiences with other disciplines including:

  1. Adult nephrology (at University Hospital)
  2. Transplant
  3. Critical Care
  4. Urology

Additionally, fellows will attend multi-specialty ambulatory clinics for patients with nephrologic conditions. Multi-specialty work with nephrology nurses, advance practice providers, physical therapists and other hospital-based disciplines is also incorporated into the clinical curriculum.

The outpatient experience is balanced with participation in the inpatient-based nephrology consult service. Trainees will learn how to manage acutely ill patients with nephrotic conditions, including those with life-threatening complications.

Each first year fellow will also have two months in their first year, where they will have protected time to explore areas of interest, speak with potential research mentors, begin to develop their research projects to be conducted in years two and three, and during which vacation may be taken.

Outpatient Clinic

  1. Fellow clinic
  2. Dialysis
  3. Multidisciplinary specialty clinics available for participation.
    • Congenital Anomalies of the Kidneys and Urinary Tract clinic (CAKUT)
    • Bone and Mineral Metabolism clinic
    • Nephrology-Rheumatology clinic (NRC)
    • Hypertension clinic

Inpatient Nephrology Consult Service

The emphasis of these rotations will be on specialty consultation within a large, full-service academic children's hospital. Trainees will learn how to evaluate and manage acutely ill patients with nephrotic conditions, including those with life-threatening complications. During rotations on the consult service, the fellow will carry the consult pager and be responsible for answering calls from in-house and referring physicians within the region who seek advice on their patients with nephrologic disorders. An attending will supervise all consults and provide guidance with any telephone calls the fellow may receive.

Research/Other Scholarly Activity

During this two-month block of protected time during the second half of the first year, fellows are expected to explore potential research projects and research mentors and develop a research proposal for presentation to the Scholarship Oversight Committee in June of their first year. During this block of time, the fellow can also perform other scholarly activities such as working on formal presentations and completing a quality improvement study or case report for publication.

The second and third years are largely focused on research and other scholarly activities. Second and third year fellows will continue to see patients in a dedicated fellow’s clinic and other nephrology clinics and will be encouraged to attend at least one specialty clinic in an area of interest.

Second and third year fellows are expected to present their research at a regional or national meeting and have a manuscript ready for submission by the end of their third year. They will also be encouraged to write case reports, and to assist faculty in preparing book chapters and topical reviews.

Outpatient Clinics

The primary clinical goal during the second and third years is for the fellow to develop more expertise and competence in the diagnosis and management of nephrologic disorders in children and young adults. Trainees will gain experience in continuity of care of a cohort of patients over several years and competence in the management of chronic conditions

Inpatient Experience

Each second and third year fellow will spend at least one month on the nephrology consult service. During this rotation, fellows will gain further experience in assessment and management of acutely ill patients and develop knowledge and skills by working with and instructing first year fellows. Trainees will continue to develop expertise in interacting as a consultant with primary care providers, hospitalists and other specialty services, as well as teaching of residents, medical students and nurses. An attending nephrologist will always be available for guidance and backup of all consults. 


The major goal of the second and third year of fellowship is development of a high-quality research experience that meets the requirements for scholarly activity of the American Board of Pediatrics Section on Nephrology. Fellows will present research at laboratory or research group meetings, meet with their research mentors on regular basis, submit at least one abstract and present their research project at local and national meetings. Fellows interested in a continuing career in academic medicine will begin preparation of grant and/or career development award applications with assistance from their research mentor(s).

Other Scholarly Activities

Second and third year fellows will devote a greater percentage of time to other scholarly activities. They will attend all regularly scheduled Nephrology program conferences and attend conferences/lectures that are relevant to their research interest. Fellows are expected to assist in the preparation of case reports, review articles and book chapters with the assistance of clinical and research faculty mentors. Fellows will be actively involved in teaching first year fellows and pediatric residents who rotate through the nephrology clinics. They will also have time to prepare for the nephrology board exam.


Our program is proud to collaborate with the University of Colorado’s adult nephrology fellowship program and research groups across the University of Colorado campus, providing our fellows a vast array of educational opportunities.

Didactics & Conferences

Fellows are expected to attend conferences and engage in additional local and regional educational opportunities to meet his/her academic needs. These include but are not limited to pediatric nephrology conference in addition to renal pathology conferences and Grand Rounds.

Dialysis Conference/Pediatric Grand Rounds/Fellow Conference

Topics range from case presentations, research in progress presentations, morbidity and mortality conferences, quality assurance and performance improvement and lecture topics designed to complement/supplement the clinical experience. Attendees will develop skills within the competencies of patient care, knowledge, and performance-based learning.

Kidney Center Clinical Care Conference (weekly)

Fellows will review inpatient cases and issues in outpatient care with Pediatric Nephrology faculty and staff.

Additional Learning Opportunities

Subspecialty Excellence in Educational Leadership & Scholarship (SEELS) Program :

  • The University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics is proud to offer the Subspecialty Excellence in Educational Leadership & Scholarship (SEELS) Program for subspecialty pediatric fellows committed to an academic career in medical education.
  • The SEELS program guides fellows through an 18-month program that provides research mentorship, coaching, and instruction.
  • The overall  goal of SEELS is to equip these fellows with the necessary knowledge/skills/attitudes for success as future medical educators through educational scholarship and professional identity development, faculty and peer mentorship, and engaging in an educational community of practice.

Pediatric Fellowship Educational Series

This educational series has been developed by the Committee on Fellowship Education to address areas  of scholarly interest common to all pediatric fellows. Nearly 100 sub-specialized physicians in training will attend 5-6 half-day seminars spread across their 3 years of fellowship.

  • Attendance is mandatory and the trainee is excused from clinical responsibilities.
  • In addition to providing core educational material, these sessions allow trainees in different disciplines and throughout the department to meet and interact with one another in an informal and collegial environment.
  • Occurs several times per year throughout fellowship with fellows of different subspecialties

Pediatric Biostatistics for Clinicians Course:

This course is primarily intended for 2nd and 3rd year Department of Pediatrics fellows as part of the comprehensive fellowship educational program. Designed to help fellows to develop an ability to be a critical consumer of the literature and develop familiarity with many commonly used statistical methods.

  • This course comprises for six  2-hour sessions
  • Designed for second year fellows, but any fellow or resident an register for the course.

Advanced Degrees Available at CU:

Masters of Public Health

Masters of Science in Clinical Science


Our pediatric nephrology program has partnered with the adult nephrology program to provide a dual fellowship training opportunity.  

Training sites include the Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver Health Medical Center and the VA Medical Center.

This is a four-year combined program where the fellow completes the ACGME requirements for both adult and pediatric nephrology. The program directors will petition the ABP and ABIM on your behalf so that upon completion of the four years of training, you will be eligible to sit for both the pediatric and adult subspecialty board exams. 

Application Process

Additional information can be found on the adult nephrology fellowship website under the Combined Adult-Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship 

Dear Applicant​

The ACGME accredited University of Colorado Program in Pediatric Nephrology is based at Children's Hospital Colorado.  Applicants must have an MD or DO degree from an accredited institution and must be board eligible or board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. The nephrology fellowship training program accepts applications from U.S. citizens or permanent residents through the Electronic Residency Application Service

Our pediatric fellowship will be conducting virtual interviews for this upcoming interview season.  We look forward to sharing our programs with you and getting to know more about you.  Our planned virtual interview dates are forthcoming.

(ERAS). We begin reviewing completed applications in August. Selected applicants are invited to interview, when they will meet with our faculty and fellows and tour the facilities. Interviews are offered in September and October.

The University of Colorado Denver Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship Program adheres to all the policies and procedures mandated by the University of Colorado, the Graduate Medical Education Committee and the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Policies and additional information can be obtained at the UC Denver GME web-site.

If you have questions about the online application and interview process feel free to reach out to our program coordinator


The University of Colorado offers salary and benefits packages that are competitive with other fellowship programs across the country. Current salary levels can be found at the School of Medicine - Graduate Medical Education Stipends.

Application Checklist

  1. ERAS application
  2. Personal Statement
  3. Curriculum Vitae
  4. USMLE Part 1, 2, and 3 scores if taken
  5. Medical school transcripts
  6. Three letters of recommendation (including one from the Residency Program Director)
  7. Positions Available: 1 per year

ERAS Application Timeline

Monday, May 31, 2024ERAS 2024 season ends at 5 p.m. ET.
Wednesday, June 5, 2024ERAS 2025 season begins at 9 a.m. ET.
Thursday, June 5, 2024EFDO will release tokens to fellowship applicants.
Wednesday, July 3, 2024July cycle fellowship applicants may begin submitting applications to programs at 9 a.m. ET.
Wednesday, July 17, 2024July cycle fellowship programs may begin reviewing applications at 9 a.m. ET.
May 31, 2025    ERAS 2025 season ends at 5 p.m. ET.


NRMP Fall Match Timeline

Dates Activity
Wednesday, August 21, 2024Match Opens 
Wednesday, September 25, 2024Ranking Opens
Wednesday, November 6, 2024Quota Change Deadline
Wednesday, November 20, 2024Rank Order List Certification Deadline
Wednesday, December 4, 2024MATCH DAY

Contact Us

For additional questions please contact: 

Associate Program Director
Eliza Blanchette, MD
Email: Eliza Blanchette

1st Year Fellows


Courtney M Giannini, MD, PhD

  • Medical School: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
  • Residency: UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Email: Courtney.Giannini


Austin G. McCuistion, MD

  • Medical School: Texas Tech University Health Sciences
  • Residency: University of Utah Pediatric Residency
  • Email: Austin.McCuistion


2nd Year Fellows


Sarah Kay Nelson-Taylor, MD, PhD

  • Medical School: University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency
  • Email: Sarah.Nelson-Taylor


3rd Year Fellows

Melvin Chan, MD

  • Residency: Indiana University - Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
  • Medical School: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
  • Email: Melvin.Chan

Angelina, Gina, Dixon, MD

  • Residency: Tulane University School of Medicine - Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
  • Medical School: Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine
  • Email: Angelina.Dixon
Diversity / Equity / Inclusion


We are committed to creating a diverse environment for students, residents, fellows, and faculty. We believe that an environment of inclusiveness and respect promotes excellence and that a setting where diversity is valued leads to the training of physicians who are prepared to practice culturally effective medicine and meet the needs of the various populations we serve. Visit our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webpage for more....

Well-Being Resilience

Be well

By embracing wellness and improving personal resiliency, physicians can reconnect with the meaning of their work and fend off stress. Reducing or eliminating burnout also has practical implications for the entire department such as improving patient safety, student advancement, and the overall campus environment. 

Visit our Pediatric Well-Being and Resilience website...


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