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Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship

The Neonatal-Perinatal fellowship at IU School of Medicine is an established training program accredited by the ACGME since 1984. Neonatal fellows take part in a well-rounded curriculum, balancing time between clinical experiences, teaching opportunities and academic activities. This individualized program allows fellows to design their own educational track based on their career goals of clinician, educator or physician scientist. As part of a large medical school and pediatric department, the Neonatal-Perinatal fellowship offers varied opportunities for scholarship.

Strong History of Pediatric Specialty Training

The three-year Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship curriculum at IU School of Medicine, requires fellows to rotate through a variety of Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). Fellows with an interest in global health may choose to spend a month in Kenya at the Moi University Mother-Baby Hospital, which is home to the only NICU in East Africa and is an international global health clinical partner to the IU School of Medicine.

The Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine has a long history of excellence in clinical and basic science research. Exposure to clinical or basic science research provides fellows with the skills necessary to evaluate literature and apply those results to clinical care, teaching and/or investigation. Neonatology fellows routinely present their research at national and regional meetings and have won prestigious awards for their work. Fellows have broad academic interests, and graduates are equally divided in their career choices between basic science research, clinical research, education and clinical medicine.

Apply for Fellowship

Physicians interested in applying for Neonatal-Perinatal fellowship training at IU School of Medicine should submit an application through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Required materials are listed at the bottom of this page.


Program Contacts

Full Spectrum of Neonatal Disorders

Neonatal-Perinatal fellows care for newborns with a wide-spectrum of neonatal disorders which gives them excellent opportunities to learn from their patients and their families. Trainees in the Neonatology and Pediatric Surgery Fellowship programs learn the complex interplay between technically complicated cardiopulmonary devices and personnel-intensive services provided by expert technical specialists and physicians. Education about extracorporeal support is provided by the medical and surgical directors of the program through a bi-weekly year-long recurring series of basic and clinically relevant seminars and several didactic lectures. Experiential learning occurs during management of patients requiring extracorporeal support under the tutelage of faculty.

Program Leadership

The Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship is led by Program Director Jason Niehaus, MD, and Associate Program Director Liz Wetzel, MD. The Program Coordinator is Deb Parsons, C-TAGME.

19952-Niehaus, Jason

Jason Z. Niehaus, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

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Deb Parsons

Deb Parsons, C-TAGME

Fellowship Coordinator

11493-Wetzel, Elizabeth

Elizabeth A. Wetzel, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

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Current Fellows

38332-Lash, Shelly

Shelly L. Lash, MD


Pediatrics-Neonatal/Perinatal, PGY 6
Michigan State Un College of Human Medicine

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42505-Damron, Christopher

Christopher L. Damron, MD


Pediatrics-Neonatal/Perinatal, PGY 5
Marshall University

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42602-Patel, Shama

Shama Y. Patel, MD


Pediatrics-Neonatal/Perinatal, PGY 5
University of Illinois

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42506-O'Neill, Samantha

Samantha O'Neill, MD


Pediatrics-Neonatal/Perinatal, PGY 5
University of Toledo College of Medicine

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19645-Lajiness, Jacquelyn

Jacquelyn D. Lajiness, MD


Pediatrics-Neonatal/Perinatal, PGY 4
Indiana University School of Medicine

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44445-Fairman, Korre

Korre L. Fairman


Pediatrics-Neonatal/Perinatal, PGY 5

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44446-Severyn, Nicholas

Nicholas T. Severyn


Pediatrics-Neonatal/Perinatal, PGY 4

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Clinical and Teaching OpportunitiesNeonatal Clinical and Teaching Opportunities

Four major hospitals in downtown Indianapolis – Riley Children’s Hospital, IU Health University Hospital, Eskenazi Health and IU Health Methodist Hospitals—are within walking distance of each other and connected by monorail. These four hospitals account for more than 7200 deliveries annually.

Weekly meetings with the High Risk Maternal-Fetal Medicine staff at IU Health University Hospital enables fellows to learn about upcoming high-risk deliveries and pertinent management issues. Fellows also have the opportunity to participate in the Newborn Follow-up Program in the Riley Outpatient Center, a clinical experience that provides an opportunity to follow patients from the NICU on a longer-term basis, assessing neuro-development skills and milestone attainment in NICU graduates. 

Fellowship Curriculum


The Neonatal-Perinatal fellowship is based at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in downtown Indianapolis. Fellows may see patients at any of these sites: Riley Children’s Hospital, IU Health Arnett Hospital, Riley Hospital – IU Health North, Community Hospital North, The Women’s Hospital, Riley Children’s Hospital at IU Health Methodist Hospital, Franciscan St. Francis Health, and Eskenazi Health.


Research opportunities are available to fellows in both basic and clinical research throughout Indiana University School of Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics. The Department of Pediatrics  consistently ranks in the top 5-10 percent. Several of Neonatal-Perinatal fellows have successfully competed for selection into the NIH Pediatric Scientist Development Program. Explore the full range of research programs in the Department of Pediatrics.

Sample of research opportunities open to neonatology fellows:

  • Basic Science
    The Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research has been a resource for neonatology fellows since its inception in 1989. The Wells Center retains more than 300 investigators, technical personnel and administrative staff to pursue its basic science academic mission. In addition to conducting basic science research, the center includes a fully equipped translational research laboratory to facilitate processing and storage of patient samples for human clinical research trails.
  • Bioethics
    The Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics advances scholarship and research in clinical ethics. The multidisciplinary faculty have varied research interests that pertain to neonatology such as end of life decision making. The Fairbanks Center offers our fellows the opportunity to obtain a Master Degree in Bioethics.
  • Clinical and Translational Research
    Indiana University is a member of the Children’s Hospital Neonatal Database, a consortium of 30 level IV neonatal care centers assembled to provide a contemporary, national benchmark of short-term outcomes for infants with uncommon neonatal illnesses. These collective observations in the database are valuable in conducting observational studies and clinical trials and developing quality improvement initiatives. IU School of Medicine is also a member of the Vermont Oxford Network, a community that includes nearly 1000 centers around the globe that voluntarily submit data about the care and outcomes of high-risk newborn infants with an emphasis on quality improvement research. Patients participate in the Pediatric Trials Network and is a participating center for the exciting BABY BAC II study which uses umbilical cord progenitor cells to facilitate recovery from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
  • Global Health
    Indiana University’s Center for Global Health gives neonatology fellows the opportunity to perform their research throughout the world. An especially successful program has been the partnership with Kenya. Indiana University School of Medicine is the founder and U.S. leader of the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH).  AMPATH partners with Moi University School of Medicine in Kenya and, in 2009, the Riley Mother Baby Hospital of Kenya opened. The hospital is able to accommodate 12,000 deliveries per year and has the only NICU in East Africa. Several IU School of Medicine neonatology fellows have conducted their scholarly activity in Kenya with the aid of mentors in global health.
  • Health Service Research
    The Center for Children’s Health Services Research focuses is on health policy research and advocacy, research on the vulnerable child or children with special health care needs and use of information technology to improve children’s healthcare. Investigators partners with Regenstrief Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric informatics research groups in the country.
  • Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute CTSI
    The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) was established in 2008 to apply findings from scientific research to enhance patient health. The expertise from project development teams within the CTSI are available to fellows for advice on project design, statistics and institutional review board proposals.
  • K30 Training Grant
    The National Institute of Health has awarded Indiana University School of Medicine with a K-30 grant to develop and implement the Clinical Investigator Training Enhancement (CITE) program. The purpose of this program is to prepare health care professionals for a career in clinical research. Following completion of the program, graduates can embark on a career in clinical research with the skills necessary to successfully compete for grant funding, conduct and analyze research findings, and publish their work in scientific journals. Through this program, neonatology fellows at IU School of Medicine have the opportunity to obtain a Master of Science in Clinical Research at the completion of their fellowship.
  • Neonatal Nutrition
    Many neonatology fellows have conducted research in neonatal nutrition.  Collaboration with colleagues in Gastroenterology, Pediatric Surgery and an academic group of dieticians supports continued investigation in nutrition.
  • NeuroNICU
    At Riley Hospital the neonatology service has partnered with the neurology service to develop a NeuroNICU, which offers 24 hour video EEG monitoring and has collected a wealth of data on neonates with neurologic disorders. Fellows can take advantage of the newborn follow-up program to track outcome and/or choose projects related to newborn follow-up.
  • Personalized Medicine
    Pharmacogenomics is the study of how an individual’s genetic code affects the way the body responds to drugs. The Institute for Personalized Medicine offers the Brater Scholarship Program was developed to provide researchers access to funding and mentorship in personalized medicine.
  • Simulation Education
    A state of the art simulation center trains medical students, residents and fellows. Neonatal-Perinatal fellowscan complete the simulator instructor course to become a simulation educator and design a research project involving simulation. The outreach program uses simulation to train community health care personnel and is the largest neonatal outreach program in the country.
  • Sleep Studies
    Riley Hospital has the only dedicated pediatric sleep clinic in the state of Indiana and performs polysomnograms on NICU patients with respiratory compromise before discharge. There are many unanswered questions related to neonatal polysomnograms that can be studied with mentorship from sleep medicine physicians.
  • Supplemental Degree Programs
    The Morris Green Physician Scientist Development Program  was created to identify, support and develop fellows with commitment to a career as a pediatric researcher, physician-scientist and future academic leader. Fellows receive instruction in the ethical conduct of research, grant preparation, research design, research methods and biostatistics appropriate for their area of specialization, and scientific writing. While fellows are participating in the Morris Green Pediatric Scientist Scholarship program, their research time is protected from clinical duties.