Transfusion Medicine Clinical Fellowship Program

The educational mission of the Division of Transfusion Medicine includes the training of individuals at the fellowship level in all aspects of transfusion medicine and coagulation to become future blood bank/transfusion service directors in academic and non-academic settings. Training is for one year and is closely integrated with the Institute For Transfusion Medicine.

Transfusion Medicine Environment

The Division of Transfusion Medicine is based in the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh. The blood bank laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Presbyterian hospital campus is one of 15 sites served through an integrated network of hospital transfusion services called the Centralized Transfusion Service (CTS) at the Institute for Transfusion Medicine (ITxM). The CTS, one of the largest and most innovative transfusion services in the country, is a national leader in implementing the concept of centralized transfusion facilities. CTS annually provides more than 110,000 red cells and 80,000 platelets to area hospitals, representing more than 2/3 of all the transfusions in the Pittsburgh region. The core laboratory also houses an AABB accredited red cell reference laboratory which tests more than 4,000 antibody samples annually from a three state region. ITxM also provides the blood center training environment for the fellows at Central Blood Bank, a community based blood center that collects and distributes blood and blood products to over 40 hospitals in the Western Pennsylvania, Northern West Virginia, and Eastern Ohio region. Annually, it draws blood from approximately 160,000 whole blood donors and 170,000 apheresis donors.

ITxM also provides comprehensive laboratory testing in other areas related to transfusion medicine. It also manages a premier reference Coagulation Laboratory, a patient viral testing laboratory, an active therapeutic apheresis service that includes the stem cell harvest program and a stem cell processing laboratory. ITxM has a medical staff consisting of 8 full-time physicians, and a Ph.D. The physicians have full-time Medical School appointments at the University of Pittsburgh (5 in the Department of Pathology and 3 in the Division of Hematology/Bone Marrow Transplant, Department of Medicine).

Clinical and Research Training

The primary purpose of the fellowship year is to train the fellow to become an expert clinical consultant in transfusion medicine and laboratory coagulation as well as a qualified technical consultant in the development, evaluation and interpretation of laboratory assays and techniques used in these areas. Clinical research is strongly encouraged during the fellowship year to take advantage of the rich and varied clinical material to which the fellow is exposed.

The clinical experience is heavily focused on the tertiary/quaternary hospital based transfusion service at UPMC and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. The fellow participates in the day to day management of the transfusion service with an attending physician to review all transfusion related problems, including transfusion reactions, serological problems, support of adult and pediatric organ and stem cell transplant recipients, etc. They also perform, under supervision, routine laboratory procedures related to blood banking. A portion of each day is devoted to study of laboratory coagulation at ITxM reviewing and interpreting coagulation tests with an attending.

The fellowship year includes training in a blood center environment at Central Blood Bank Fellows are introduced to all aspects of blood collection and processing, including donor recruitment, donor interviewing, donor testing procedures, blood processing, storage and labeling, donor counseling, quality assurance programs, and donor apheresis. Fellows are also exposed to the diagnosis and management of patients with inherited coagulopathies such as hemophilia and von Willebrands disease at the Hemophilia center of Western Pennsylvania an affiliate of ITxM. Lastly fellows are exposed to stem cell collection and processing through the therapeutic apheresis service and Hematopoietic Stem Cell processing laboratory. Clinical research or applied laboratory based research opportunities exist in virtually all areas.


Interactions on the clinical services, on call, laboratory and blood center environment and presentations form the basis for evaluation in the general areas described on the department of Pathology Resident/Fellow evaluation form. The general areas include:

  1. Medical knowledge
  2. Patient care
  3. Communication skills
  4. Professionalism
  5. Practice based learning
  6. System based learning
  7. Overall functioning on service
  8. Teaching
  9. Research

Fellows are evaluated formerly on a quarterly basis and meet with the program director.


Follow this link to apply to the Transfusion Medicine Clinical Fellowship Program.


Lirong Qu, MD, PhD
Director, Transfusion Medicine Fellowship Program
Institute for Transfusion Medicine
3636 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Office Telephone: 412-209-7428
Fax: 412-209-7325
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