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Education & Training


The NHLBI has identified the training of blood center medical directors as an important need. Bloodworks Northwest, in which service, management, research, and teaching have been developed together in an integrated manner for over 50 years provides an excellent environment for such training.

The program includes training in:

1. clinical transfusion practice and supporting laboratory sciences, including immunohematology, platelet serology, histocompatibility, hemostasis, and virology;

2. blood resource management, including donor recruitment, blood collection, processing, distribution, and quality assurance; and

3. administrative and business management of a transfusion service and regional blood center.

Experienced transfusion, transplantation, and hemostasis personnel supervise the trainee. The fellow is expected to attain a level of competence and understanding that will prepare him or her to function as medical director, clinical consultant, and educator.


Prior to appointment in the program, fellows must have one of the following successful completion of at least two years of a pathology residency program accredited by the ACGME or of a program located in Canada and accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC); certification by the ABP in anatomic pathology and clinical pathology, or in clinical pathology; or completion of an ACGME-accredited fellowship in hematology or an ACGME-accredited residency, and certification by a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in one of the following:  anesthesiology, colon and rectal surgery, internal medicine, neurological surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics, plastic surgery, thoracic surgery.

Training Environment

The following are part of the training environment of the Bloodworks Northwest.

All the clinical laboratories, blood collection & processing areas, and research facilities at Bloodworks Northwest.

Wards and clinics of the University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center, and Seattle Childrens hospital.

Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and Adult Leukemia Center at the University of Washington Medical Center.

Trauma Center and Burn Unit at Harborview Medical Center.

Cardiovascular Surgery Units at University of Washington Medical Center, and Swedish Medical Center.

Professional staff

The professional staff of the Blood Center consists of ten physicians, hematologists or clinical pathologists, who are faculty members in the Division of Hematology or the Department of Laboratory Medicine of the University of Washington School of Medicine. A physician is on call 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, for support of transfusion medicine and blood center issues. Additionally, a core team of nurses and physicians support adult hemophilia patients in Western Washington.

The Research Institute houses nine additional senior scientists involved in basic and translational research, the focus of which is transfusion biology and hemostasis/thrombosis, as well as solid organ transplantation.

Program outline

The fellowship program consists of one year of specific training as directed by the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). At the conclusion of this year, the fellow should be eligible to sit for the Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine subspecialty board exam administered through the the American Board of Pathology (ABP)..  An additional year of research with a Blood Center investigator is possible, but may be subject to funding availability.

The program is divided into 2 overall components, with approximately 6 months in clinical laboratory and Blood Services areas, and 6 months in area hospitals that allow the fellow to gain exposure to  the  care (including transfusion support) of various patient populations.

Clinical laboratory and service areas include:

  • Several transfusion service laboratories
  • A large centralized mobile therapeutic apheresis service
  • Coagulation laboratories in 2 institutions
  • Immunogenetics laboratories
  • Platelet immunology laboratory
  • Immunohematology and red cell genomics laboratories
  • Cellular therapy laboratory
  • Collection of donors for the National Marrow Donor Program
  • Adult Hemophilia clinic

Time in area hospitals includes rotations in a level 1 trauma center, a specialized pediatric hospital, a large University hospital, and several community hospitals within King County.

The fellow will participate actively in an on-call schedule for transfusion medicine issues and for therapeutic apheresis patients. The on-call for hemophilia patients is not typically part of the fellow duties.

The program is structured to encourage graded responsibility for the fellow, and the achievement of independent thinking by the end of the first year. Milestones developed by the ACGME are followed and used as part of the assessment of the fellow bi-annually. Additionally, the fellow is required to participate in the Program Evaluation committee, as specified by the ACGME.

Research opportunities

Specific research areas in Transfusion Medicine include:

  • Donor retention studies
  • Massive transfusion
  • Blood component use during liver transplantation and cardiac bypass surgery
  • Platelet immunology and serology
  • Platelet storage
  • Prevention and treatment of platelet alloimmunization
  • Molecular biology of hemophilia A and B
  • Gene therapy for hemophilia
  • Red cell immunology and serology
  • Immunomodulatory properties of stored blood
  • novel therapies for the treatment of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

Specific research areas in Transplantation Medicine include:

  • Clinical and animal models of induction and maintenance of graft tolerance
  • Identification of endothelial cell antigens that are targets of immunological rejection
  • Peripheral blood stem cell transplantation
  • Stem cell biology including in vitro expansion, differentiation, and induction
  • Tissue biomechanics and cryopreservation
  • Molecular analysis of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC)
  • Evolutionary analysis of MHC
  • Effect of MHC on transplantation and disease susceptibility

Requirements for applicants

  • Must have certification by a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in one of the following: anesthesiology, colon and rectal surgery, internal medicine, neurological surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics, plastic surgery, or thoracic surgery.
  • Must be eligible for a limited Washington State medical license


For academic year availability, please contact the Program Coordinator at:
To begin the application process, please send the following to:

Theresa Nester, MD
Fellowship Program Director
Bloodworks Northwest
921 Terry Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104-1256

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of interest
  • Detailed personal statement explaining:

a. Specific interests in Blood Banking / Transfusion Medicine
b. Any research interests or experience
c. Long-term professional goals

  • Three (3) letters of reference

Application materials may also be submitted electronically to:



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