Seattle Food Allergy ConsortiumUniversity of Washington Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Training Program
Seattle Food Allergy Consortium

University of Washington Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Training Program

The goal of the UW Allergy and Immunology (A&I) Program is to stimulate and prepare physician trainees for academic careers in allergy and immunology. Our aim is to give our Fellows the unique training necessary to be major contributors in the field of Allergy and Immunology. The leadership of the training program is as follows:

  • Program Director: William R. Henderson, Jr., MD, Professor of Medicine, Center for Allergy and Inflammation, UW Medicine at South Lake Union
  • Associate Program Director: Andrew G. Ayars, MD, Assistant Professor Medicine, Center for Allergy and Inflammation, UW Medicine at South Lake Union
  • Associate Program Director: Suzanne Skoda-Smith, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Institute
  • Associate Program Director: Frank S. Virant, MD, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Division Chief of Allergy, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Partner, Northwest Asthma & Allergy Center; Director, ASTHMA Inc Clinical Research Center


In January 2011, the Residency Review Committee (RRC) for Allergy and Immunology commended our program for its demonstrated substantial compliance with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Requirements for Graduate Medical Education without citations and awarded our A&I training program a full 5-year reaccreditation. In addition, the A&I RRC identified our educational curriculum as a Notable Practice. Each year ~90 applicants apply for the 1-2 slots we have available, and we have been successful in matching top-notch fellows to our program via the competitive National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) implemented in 2006 by the US A&I training programs). Since 2006, six men and six women [prior training in Internal Medicine (6), Pediatrics (5), combined Medicine-Pediatrics (1)] have matched to our program coming from the following distinguished institutions: Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard, Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Stanford University, UCLA, the Universities of Colorado, Michigan, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin, and Yale University (2 trainees). In 2010, we expanded the program duration to three years to provide two full years of protected research time designed to better prepare our trainees to launch academic careers, obtain research funding and move toward scientific independence. Two of our 4 most recent trainees in this expanded three-year program are MD/PhDs with training in immunology. A major challenge is to maintain sufficient funding to support the extended research training. Year 1 of the fellowship is devoted to clinical activities and funded by the UW and Seattle Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (GME) offices. The second and third research years are funded by non-Federal and non-State sources (i.e., gift funds and non-restricted educational grants from industry and non-profit organizations).

MD and MD/PhD Training

The usual time line for training for MDs and MD/PhDs is as follows: Year 1 is focused clinical training [funding by UW and Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH) GMEs]. Years 2 and 3 are focused on research training supported by training grants. The physician trainees will have completed an ACGME-accredited residency program in either Internal Medicine or Pediatrics prior to entering the program. Based on our past 5 years of experience, ~20% will also have a PhD. We expect all physicians in our training program to acquire board-eligibility in the subspecialty of Allergy and Immunology and to eventually take the qualifying American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI) examination to achieve board certification in the subspecialty. To achieve this, the postdoctoral Fellows devote the first year of their Fellowship to clinical activities. In years 2 and 3, ~90% of time is spent in research with clinical activities limited to ½ day per week in a continuity clinic (e.g. Asthma and Allergy Clinic at UWMC or Immunology Clinic at SCH) to maintain clinical skills.

Typical UW A&I Training Program Experiences.

Year 1 Core Clinical Activities: During year 1, the fellows have outpatient assignments in Allergy and Immunology (A&I) clinics at University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC), Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC), and Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) that are hospital-based and at Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center (NAAC) and Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center of Alaska (AAICA) that are clinic-based private practices. Elective rotations in other related specialties are available including Dermatology, Otolaryngology, Pulmonary Medicine with the Pulmonary Function Laboratory, and Rheumatology at UWMC, SCH, and Harborview Medical Center and Vocal Cord Dysfunction at NAAC.

Program Faculty and Research Themes

University of Washington and affiliate institute faculty who participate in this training program have their primary appointments in the Departments of Immunology, Medicine, and Pediatrics. The faculty members share a common interest in understanding the immune system and its link to health and disease. The range of their departmental appointments reflects the diversity of their scientific interests and the technological approaches they employ. They have demonstrated a commitment to the program and provide a diverse set of training opportunities for our trainees. The research interests of our faculty collectively represent the diversity of contemporary basic and translational immunology encompassing: a) allergic inflammation, b) adaptive and innate immune responses, c) tolerance and autoimmunity, d) developmental immunology, e) molecular immunology focusing on molecular mechanisms involved in generating and regulating immune responses and epigenetic mechanisms for regulating expression of genes involved in immune responses, and f) primary immunodeficiency diseases. These shared interests have fostered a multitude of collaborations between the faculty and a number of joint lab meetings as illustrated by collaborative publications. The faculty is clearly committed to training the next generation of allergist/immunologists. 

Research Activities

Years 2 and 3: UW A&I fellows may choose among any relevant basic science or translational research laboratory throughout the UW system. Primary research training sites are as follows:

UW Medicine at South Lake Union, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, and ASTHMA Inc Clinical Research Center in Seattle. To select their research mentor for years 2 and 3, contacts are initiated early in year 1 by the UW A&I Fellow with appropriate investigators. This relationship is fostered from the beginning of the Fellowship Training Program, leading to the development of a formal research proposal. The expectation is that all Fellows will have a manuscript/work product at the end of their three-year training program.

For more information visit: