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Fellowship in Pediatric Genomic Medicine and Gene Therapy

Primary Children’s Hospital Center for Personalized Medicine offers a two-year fellowship in pediatric genomic medicine and gene therapy. Training occurs at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s Hospital, located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Training includes direct patient in- and out-patient experiences, including rapid Whole Genome Sequencing (rWGS) patient evaluation, testing and follow-up; clinical gene therapy and Antisense Oligonucelotide (ASO) administration; clinical trial exposure with genetic therapies; didactic training including in regulatory elements; and a dedicated research project. During the first four months, a research mentor and project is identified, and the project is pursued during the training.

Program Director:                   David Viskochil, MD, Ph

Program Assistant Director:   Josh Bonkowsky, MD, PhD

Program Faculty:     Anne Blaschke

                                    Josh Bonkowsky

                                    Lorenzo Botto

                                    Luca Brunelli

                                    Russell Butterfield

                                    John Carey

                                    Samuel Cheshier

                                    Stephen Guthery

                                    Nicola Longo

                                    Luke Maese

                                    Sabrina Malone Jenkins

                                    Martin Tristani-Firouzi

                                    David Viskochil

                                    Kevin Watt                                                    

Trainee Selection Criteria

Trainees will ideally be selected from candidates who have completed a residency and/or fellowship in pediatrics or a pediatrics-related specialty (e.g. Child Neurology; Pediatric Neurosurgery, etc.). Trainees will be chosen based upon demonstrated interest in academic medicine, research, and clinical expertise.  Applicants are required to have U.S. citizenship or a green card; or any applicant who is not a US citizen or US permanent resident (green card) is NOT ELIGIBLE without an institutionally sponsored visa. For more detailed information, refer to the University of Utah IMG Eligibility and Exams policy. The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is the starting point for all international medical graduates. Information concerning ECFMG certification, examinations, sponsorship, visas, DS2019 forms, and other issues is available on the ECFMG web site at


Application Components:


    Curriculum Vitae

    Three professional references

Submit above by mail or e-mail attachment to:

David Viskochil, MD, PhD   and    Josh Bonkowsky, MD, PhD

Program Directors

Primary Children’s Center for Personalized Medicine

298 Chipeta Way

Department of Pediatrics

Salt Lake City, UT 84108;

Fellowship Goals and Objectives

Our Fellowship provides training for clinician scientists in the field of pediatric genetic therapies and personalized medicine. 

At the end of training, the specific goals are that all trainees will:

  • Be conversant with modern molecular therapeutic approaches.
  • Have completed IRB-certified training in Human Subjects Research.
  • Have participated in the performance of at least one pre-clinical  (laboratory-based) study of novel therapeutics.
  • Understand utility, limitations, and application of genomic testing and follow-up in pediatric patients.
  • Have participated in the design, initiation, performance, and/or interpretation of at least one clinical trial of genetic therapeutics.
  • Write and submit an NIH K08, K23, or equivalent foundation grant (American Academy of Neurology Clinical Research Training Grant).
  • Become an expert in the clinical, pathologic, and molecular diagnosis of inherited pediatric diseases.  Trainees will demonstrate competencies to the satisfaction of Program Faculty and invited external reviewers.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in basic laboratory techniques, including PCR, RT-PCR, Western Blot, primer design, immunofluorescent staining, and sequence analysis (using common programs).

Scholarly Activity Expectations

All trainees will be expected to pursue research projects, to be identified within the first four months in the program, in collaboration with program faculty.  They will be expected to submit abstracts to at least one meeting per year. 

Each will be expected to participate in the planning and/or performance of ongoing clinical trials of genetic therapies.

Fellowship Curriculum

Clinical Experiences

The training program consists of a two-year fellowship, with an expectation for participation throughout in research.  Research options include both clinical and basic research projects.

The clinical experience will include two to three clinics per week, and in-patient participation with the Genomics Consult service, the clinical Genetics and Neurology programs; the Penelope clinic, and the NeoSeq program.

Didactic classes are in year 1, MSCI human genetics (90’ sessions, 8 lectures), and HGEN 6060 Genomic Analysis; and in year 2, HGEN 6421 Genetics of Complex Disease (half-semester), and HGEN 6810 Advanced Genome Analysis Journal Club.

Additional didactic training will include the following conferences:

  • Quarterly seminars given by nationally and internationally recognized speakers at the University of Utah or at Primary Children’s Hospital.
  • Weekly seminar series hosted by the Center for Genomic Medicine.
  • Department of Pediatrics Research In Progress, weekly.
  • Research-topic related journal club.

Additional Training

All trainees will also:

  • Receive training in Human Subjects research through the resources made available by the IRB and Clinical Research Services division.
  • Participate in the Department of Pediatrics Grant Writing workshop.