Pediatric Surgery Fellowship Program

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford's pediatric surgery training fellowship is an ACGME-accredited two-year clinical training program. The program, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, offers comprehensive clinical care and research opportunities in a quaternary care hospital that is rated by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top children's hospitals.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford's Division of Pediatric Surgery participates in the National Resident Matching Program (Program Code 1820445F0) every other. We will participate in the 2022-2023 Match, to find our newest fellow, to begin August 2023.

Our fellowship program pairs diverse clinical experiences with in-depth research and state-of-the-art learning opportunities.

Clinical services include: 

• Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery Clinic

• Advanced laparoscopic, thoracoscopic, cervicoscopic and subcutaneous endoscopic techniques

• Aerodigestive Clinic

• Chest Wall Deformities

• Colorectal and Bowel Management Program

• Endocrine Surgery

• Esophageal Disorders and Dysmotility Clinic

• Fetal Diagnosis and Counseling

• Intestinal Failure and Short Gut Program 

• Intestinal Rehabilitation

• Minimally Invasive Surgery 

• Single port laparoscopy

• Surgical Oncology

• Surgical Stimulation

• Thoracic surgery

• Vascular anomalies, multidisciplinary collaboration

Interview Process

We extend interviews to approximately 10-15 fellowship applicants after an extensive screening process. We acknowledge that this relatively small number is a variation on the traditional interview process. Our selection process is approached much like hiring a practice partner. In addition, we are cognizant of the expense and time involved in the interview process and also wish to minimize the potential negative impact on your present professional colleagues who are supporting you through this process.

Program Details

Contact Us

For more information about the Pediatric Surgery Fellowship Training Program, please contact:

Samrawit Gebregziabher 

Pediatric Surgery Fellowship Coordinator

(650) 723-6439

Program Director

James Dunn, MD, PhD, FACS 

Dr. Dunn obtained his B.S. degree in Biology and Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He trained in General Surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine and in Pediatric Surgery at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. He was the Professor and Chief of Pediatric Surgery at UCLA, with a joint appointment in the Department of Bioengineering until 2016. Dr. Dunn is the Susan B. Ford Surgeon-in-Chief at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Director of Pediatric Surgery, and Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering at the Stanford School of Medicine.


Current Fellow

Marisa Schwab

Marisa Schwab, MD is originally from Switzerland and completed her medical education at Georgetown University and general surgery residency at UCSF. During her dedicated research years, she worked in Dr. Tippi MacKenzie's lab focusing on developing novel fetal molecular therapies. This included writing the IND and opening a phase 1 clinical trial for in utero enzyme replacement therapies and investigating different delivery techniques in fetal mouse and sheep models.

Dr. Schwab's research interests include prenatal diagnostics and therapies, quality improvement initiatives such as opioid stewardship, and clinical outcomes research.

Previous Fellows

Aaron Cunningham

Dr. Aaron Cunningham, M.D., was born and grew up in New York where he studied biological engineering, at Cornell University. He developed an interest in medicine while working as a clinical neurophysiologist in Georgia and went on to attend medical school there at the Medical College of Georgia. Surgical residency brought him to the west coast where he trained at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. During his time there he developed an acute interest in pediatric surgery and became the first pediatric surgery research fellow at OHSU. His research time was productive and predominantly focused on trauma induced coagulopathy in children and systems approaches to improving pediatric surgical care. As a research fellow he was able to secure independent funding to run a prospective observational study stratifying thromboembolic risk in injured children. Dr. Cunningham started his pediatric surgery fellowship at Stanford in 2021.

Aaron’s scholarly interests include deconstructing and defining systematic barriers to improving pediatric surgical care, and advanced pediatric minimal access and endoscopic surgical techniques. As part of his fellowship, he is placing a specific focus on such techniques including, newborn advanced minimal access surgery, pediatric peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM), bariatric surgery in adolescents, combined endoscopic and laparoscopic/thoracoscopic treatment of complex diseases (including anastomotic complications and complicated pancreatitis), and various endoscopic approaches to neonatal congenital anomalies.

Rachel Landisch

Rachel Landisch, M.D., is a Milwaukee, WI native who completed her medical education and general surgery residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  During this time, she completed a Pediatric Surgery research fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin under the mentorship of Dr. David Gourlay and Dr. Amy Wagner. She also served as a resident representative in the Midwest Pediatric Surgery Consortium, with contributions to several multi-institutional clinical studies.

Dr. Landisch's scholarly interests include enhancing current understanding of complex neonatal problems and pediatric trauma with high-quality clinical studies using multimodal research. She has been a physician advocate on a state and national level, and aspires to improve the patient hospital experience and recovery through her advocacy efforts.

Enrico Danzer

Enrico Danzer, M.D., is a German native who completed his medical education at the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena Germany in 2001. Enrico spent the next several years as a research fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Alan W. Flake at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2008, he started his general surgery residency training at the University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, and completed his training at the general surgery program of the Inova Fairfax Hospital Falls Church in 2015. For the past 2 years he trained as Pediatric Surgery Oncology Fellow with Dr. Michael P. LaQuaglia at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Dr. Danzer's scholarly interests are in fetal surgical intervention, particularly in fetal myelomeningocele surgery, neurodevelopmental outcomes in children born with congenital malformations such as congenital diaphragmatic hernia and giant omphalocele; and oncological surgery for congenital malignancies including neuroblastoma, hepatoblastoma, and pancreatoblastoma.

He is the recipient of multiple research awards including the Vandenberghe-Storz Young Investigator Award from the International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society as well as the Owen Wangensteen Excellence in Research Award from the American College of Surgeons. In addition he has been the principal or co-investigator on multiple research grants including the Gerber Foundation Novice Research Award and Ethel Brown Foerderer Award. Moreover he has been working as a reviewer for journals like Surgery, Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, Journal of Pediatric Surgery, Prenatal Diagnosis, Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, and others.

Chad Thorson

Chad Thorson, M.D., is the most recent graduate from the Pediatric Surgery Fellowship. He completed the program in July 2017 and joined the Faculty at the University of Miami.

Dr. Thorson's research interests are in trauma outcomes, endpoints of resuscitation, cost containment and overall improvements in delivery of surgical care. His clinical areas of interest are in minimal access surgery, neonatal surgery, and tumors.

Stephanie Chao

Stephanie Chao M.D., was the fourth graduate of the Fellowship Program at Stanford Children's. Dr. Chao is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Stanford and is the Director of the Chest Wall Program, and the Trauma Medical Director.

Dr. Chao's research focuses on the eradication of hepatitis B, the leading cause of liver cancer and liver disease globally. Dr. Chao works with the Asian Liver Center at Stanford and helped launch the Jade Ribbon Campaign in 2001 to improve public and physician awareness about hepatitis B. Her work has been supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and the American Cancer Society. The Asian Liver Center also works in collaboration with the World Health Organization to improve screening and immunization strategies in Asia.

James Wall

James Wall, M.D., is the second graduate of the Fellowship Program and is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Stanford. He is an alumnus of the Stanford Biodesign program and holds a Master's degree in Bioengineering.

Dr. Wall's current research interest is in the design, development and analysis of health technology as well as the emerging field of surgical endoscopy. Dr. Wall currently leads the surgical endoscopy program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and is the Assistant Director of the Biodesign Innovation Fellowship for Stanford Biodesign. Lucile Packard is one of the only Children's Hospitals in the world to offer advanced surgical endoscopic procedures including the Per-Oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM) for Achalasia.

Matias Bruzoni

Matias Bruzoni, M.D. was the first Fellow to graduate from the Pediatric Surgery Fellowship Program in 2011 under Dr. Craig Albanese, M.D., and has been the Program Director since June 2016.

Dr. Bruzoni is an Assistant Professor of Surgery, and is also the Director of the Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery Program, Director of the Outpatient Pediatric Surgery Clinics, Site Director of the Pediatric Surgery Rotation-General Surgery Residents and Medical Students, and the Director Hispanic Center for Pediatric Surgery. 

Balance in Life Program Expands to Include Fellows

Stanford Surgery’s Balance in Life Program (BIL) has been expanded to include all Department of Surgery trainees. Started in 2011, BIL was created to support the physical, psychological professional, and social wellbeing of physicians in the General Surgery Residency Program. Now in its 11th year, the Department has decided to extend the program’s offerings to residents in the Divisions of Vascular and Plastic Surgery, as well as all clinical fellows in the Department.

Contact Us

Phone: (650) 723-6439

Fax: (650) 725-5577