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The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston offers a training program in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, which is fully accredited by the American Medical Association Liaison Committee on Graduate Medical Education. This is a conjoint program offered by the Allergy & Immunology Division of the Department of Internal Medicine and the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology of the Department of Pediatrics.

UTMB is the oldest medical school in Texas and the second oldest in the western states. The UTMB complex consists of integrated schools of medicine, graduate biomedical sciences, allied health sciences, and nursing. The core faculty for this program within the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics includes eight full-time physicians board-certified in Allergy and Immunology. The faculty has received regional, national, and international recognition for accomplishments in patient care, education, and medical research. Our program is the home of the NHLBI Proteomics Center, the NIEHS Environmental Health Center, the Child Health Research Center and the Institute for Translational Science funded by the NIH Institutional Clinical Translational Science Award (ICTSA). These facilities serve as critical parts of the Allergy and Immunology Residency Program.

Generally, physicians will be accepted for this program who have completed their training in Internal Medicine or Pediatrics and are board eligible, and after completion of this program can apply for certification by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. A wide variety of opportunities is available for training in clinical medicine, as well as laboratory research, and all clinical fellows will be expected to participate in both of these spheres over the course of the fellowship. Fellows may elect to stay an additional one or two years to complete research training in preparation for a career in academic medicine. The program also recruits graduate students training for a PhD in microbiology-immunology and research fellows. These trainees provide additional resources for physicians training in the program.

Training Programs

doctor with patient
Community physician education

Started in 1970, UTMB is one of the oldest programs in Allergy and Immunology in the country. The objective of the training program is to provide advanced education in basic immunology, comprehensive training in allergy and clinical immunology, and laboratory training in basic and clinical research. UTMB has had a 100% pass rate in the American Board of Allergy and Immunology certifying exam for the last 10 years.

The overall goals and objectives of the educational program can be divided into four categories : clinical, didactic, research, and mentoring programs.

Clinical and Research years: During the 2 year program, fellows alternate between clinical and research years. The clinical year consists of 7 half days of clinic per week. There are multiple clinic locations in the Galveston area with a majority being held in League City, TX.  It also includes 1 half day of didactics (Thursday afternoon conference), and 2 half days for research time. Clinical fellows take primary call about 14 weeks out of the year.  During the research year, a fellow will typically be in clinic 3 half days per week (one half day maybe used for an elective), 1 half day of didactics and 6 half days devoted to research time. Research fellows take primary call about 3 to 4 weeks per year. Back up call is also rotated between fellows not on primary call.

Conference Curriculum: Educational conferences are held weekly on Thursday afternoons and are primarily driven by the fellows in that the majority of the content is presented by fellows themselves with faculty supervision and insight. Faculty from our department as well as other specialties also present topics as well. Journal clubs are including during these times as well as opportunities for visiting professorships and presentation of current research from fellows and faculty alike.

Education Materials: Two textbooks are provided by the program to each fellow in training. The first is Middleton's Allergy - Prinicples and Practice. The other is Cellular and Molecular Immunology by Abbas.

Meetings: Our fellowship program supports the attendance of fellows to our specialty's major medical conferences. Every year, all 3 second year fellows and 2 out of the three first year fellows are excused from clinical duties and encouraged to attend AAAAI and ACAAI. Our fellows have proudly presented posters and oral abstracts at nearly all previous conferences. There is also the opportunity to attend other meetings throughout the year to learn and share new research. Over the next few years ACAAI will be held in San Antonio, TX, San Francisco, CA, and Boston, MA. Future hosts of the AAAAI include Los Angeles, CA, Atlanta, GA, and Orlando, FL.

One year of the training program is dedicated to research with additional time interspersed in the remainder of the fellowship. At least 25% of the resident's time is allocated to research per ACGME requirements. Each resident is required to present a scientific abstract at a national meeting and to submit peer-reviewed publications. Further, they are strongly encouraged to apply for national and regional awards and grants. This is another measure of the quality of research.

National Meetings: Fellows are encouraged to submit abstracts and attend the ACAAI meeting in the fall and the AAAAI meeting in the spring. Texas also holds its own state meeting annually as well. Each fellow will be able attend at least one of these meetings annually.

Fellow Publications (2010 to 2015 Fellows)

  • Dharajiya N, Vaidya S, Sinha M, Luxon B, Boldogh I, Sur S. Allergen challenge induced Ifng dependent GTPases in the lungs as part of a Th1 trasncriptome response in a murine model of allergic asthma. PLoS One 2009 Dec 21; 4 (12).
  • Dharajiya N, Vaidya SV, Murai H, Cardenas V, Kurosky A, Boldogh I, Sur SA. FcgammaRIIb inhibits allergic lung inflammation in a murine model of allergic asthma. PLoS One. 2010 Feb 22; 5 (2).
  • Bhat KD, Calhoun WJ. Omalizumab in asthma: is the therapeutic window too small? Chest. 2011 Jan; 139 (1): 8-10.
  • Bhat KD, Calhoun WJ. Symptom-adjusted therapy in asthma: it is time to listen to our patients. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2011 May; 7 (3): 259-261
  • Hosakote YM, Jantzi PD, Esham DL, Spratt H, Kurosky A, Casola A, Garofalo RP. Viral-mediated inhibition of antioxidant enzymes contributes to the pathogenesis of severe respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 Jun 1; 183 (11): 1550-60.
  • Murai H, Qi H, Chodhury B, Wild J, Dharajiya N, Vaidya S, Kalita A, Bacsi A, Corry D, Kurosky A, Brasier A, Boldogh I, Sur S. Alternaria-induced release of IL-18 from damaged airway epithelial cells: an NF-kB dependent mechanism of Th2 differentiation? PLoS One. 2012; 7(2).
  • Ghazi A, Trikha A, Calhoun WJ. Benralizumab - a humanized mAb to IL-5Ra with enhanced antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity - a novel approach for the treatment of asthma. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2012 Jan; 12(1): 113-8.
  • Pillai RR, Divekar R, Brasier A, Bhavnani S, Calhoun WJ. Strategies for molecular classification of asthma using bipartite network of cytokine expression. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2012 Oct: 12(5): 388-395.
  • Ghazi A, Grant JA. Hereditary angioedema: epidemiology, management, and role of icatibant. Biologics. 2013; 7: 103-13.
  • Khanfar A, Trikha A, Bonds R, Jana B. Angioedema with normal C1q and C1 inhibitor; an atypical presentation of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia. Int J Hematol. 2013 May; 97 (5): 654-6.
  • Trikha A, Baillargeon JG, Kuo YF, Tan A, Pierson K, Sharma G, Wilkinson G, Bonds RS. Development of food allergies in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease treated with gastric acid suppressive medications. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2013 Sep; 24 (6): 582-8
  • Divekar R, Ameredes BT, Calhoun WJ. Symptom-based controller therapy: a new paradigm for asthma management. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2013 Oct; 13(5): 427-33.
  • Sokol KC, Amar NK, Starkey J, Grant JA. Ketotifen in the management of chronic urticaria: resurrection of an old drug. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2013 Dec; 111(6):433-6.
  • Divekar R, Calhoun WJ. Heterogeneity of asthma in society. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014: 795: 31-41.
  • Reddy AP, Gupta MR. Management of asthma: the current US and European guidelines. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014 795: 81-103.
  • Sokol KC, Ghazi A, Kelly BC, Grant JA. Omalizumab as a desensitizing agent and treatment in mastocytosis: a review of the literature and case report. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2014 May-Jun: 2(3): 266-70.
  • Sokol KC, Sharma G, Lin YL, Goldblum RM. Choosing Wisely: Adherence by Physicians to Recommended Use of Spirometry in the Diagnosis and Management of Adult Asthma. Am J Med. 2014 Dec 29.
  • Bonds RS, Asawa A, Ghazi A. Misuse of medical devices: a persistent problem in self-management of asthma and allergic disease. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2015 Jan; 114 (1): 74-76.
  • Asawa A, Simpson KH, Bonds RS. Ketotifen use in a patient with fire ant hypersensitivity and mast cell activation syndrome. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2015 Jun: 114 (6): 443-6.

Senior Fellows

Ashish Asawa, MD
Internal Medicine Residency: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Qura Rashid, MD
Internal Medicine Residency: Emory University

Chelsea Schlegel, MD
Pediatric Residency: Baylor College of Medicine

Junior Fellows

John Kelley, MD
Pediatric Residency: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Jennifer McCracken, MD
Internal Medicine Residency: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Julia Tripple, MD
Internal Medicine Residency: Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program at University of Alabama, Birmingham

Graduating Fellows Practice Locations (Graduates from 2009 to 2015)

Academic Positions

  • University of Texas Medical Branch (4 faculty appointments)
  • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - University of Pennsylvania Medical School
  • National Jewish Health
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - Harvard Medical School
  • Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research - Stanford Medical School

Private Practice Locations

  • Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Friendswood, Texas
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Forth Worth, Texas
  • Pearland, Texas
  • Chillicothe, Ohio
  • Dearborn, Michigan
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Waco, Texas
  • The Woodlands, Texas (2)
  • Sugar Land, Texas
  • Long Beach, California
  • San Francisco, California

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Welcome to Galveston, Houston, and Everything in Between

Galveston Information

Galveston is a small historic island that exhibits all the appeal of a small town but is just a 50 minute drive away from the fourth largest city in the U.S. As a popular tourist town, there is always something to do including walking along the relaxing beaches, taking the family to Moody Gardens or enjoying an evening of food and entertainment at the Pleasure Pier. You'll also find plenty of night life including events at the beautiful Galveston Opera House, or live performances nightly at the Strand. Annual festivals include Dickens on the Strand and the Lone Star Biker Rally.

From restful beaches to delicious hole-in-the-wall restaurants to famous Victorian architecture, the island is surrounded with great beauty and amazing history. You won't want to miss the tranquility of a Galveston sunset. We welcome you to visit this exciting and wonderful town.

    Galveston Island Attractions

  • Moody Gardens: Aquarium Pyramid, Butterfly Pyramid, Discovery Zone, IMAX
  • The Strand
    • Specialty Stores
    • Night Life: Yaga's, Tsunami's, The Lounge, The Drip
    • Annual Festivals: Dickinson's on the Strand, Mardi Gras, Biker Rally, Epicurean Night
  • Seawall
    • Beaches
    • Restaurants: The Spot, Salsa's
    • Night Life: The Drip
  • Schlitterbahn Water Park
  • Bolivar Ferry
  • Galveston Texas State Park
  • Historical Attractions: Bishop's Palace, 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA, Moody Mansion House
  • Cruise Lines: Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean

Visit www.galveston.com for more information.

League City/Friendswood Information

League City is a community of 90,000 residents located halfway between Galveston and Houston. It a rapidly growing city that is attracting many new residents due to its safe and affordable neighborhoods, top rated Clear Creek ISD school district, and numerous shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Friendswood is a city of 35,000 residents that has been named as one of “America’s Best Places to Live” by CNN/Money magazine in recent years. Like League City, it has a top rated school district, great family oriented neighborhoods, and beautiful parks for its residents to enjoy. Many of our fellows chose to live in these areas to be close to our clinics on the mainland and for the easy commute to Galveston.

For more information, www.visitleaguecity.com and http://www.ci.friendswood.tx.us/ .

Other attractions near League City and Friendswood include the Kemah Boardwalk, NASA and Johnson Space Center, water sports on Clear Lake, Bayou Wildlife Park, and the Tanger Outlet Mall in Texas City.

Houston Information

What to do in Houston?

Houston is the fourth most populous city in the United States known for its diversity, award winning restaurants, and world-class arts/theatre, shopping, and nightlife. Houston is a great place to live and work. Housing and cost of living is very affordable, and the city has a bustling economy with a broad industrial base in healthcare, oil & gas, energy, manufacturing, and aeronautics. Houston is known as the energy capital of the world and is home to NASA as well as the Texas Medical Center, which is the largest medical complex in the world. The city is home to 26 Fortune 500 companies. In 2014, Business Insider heralded Houston as the best city in America because of its booming economy, cultural diversity, fine dining, and affordable cost of living.



Houston is home to several professional sports teams including the Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Texans (NFL), Houston Astros (MLB), and Houston Dynamo (MLS). Houston will also host the 2016 NCAA Men's College Basketball Final Four as well as the 2017 NFL Super Bowl LI



Houston's museum district is home to 18 cultural institutions. The city also hosts numerous Broadway shows, musicals and concerts throughout the year.

Museums: www.houstonmuseumdistrcit.org
Broadway Shows, Plays, Musicals, Concerts, etc.: www.houston-theater.com

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo


Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the world's largest livestock show and live entertainment. In addition to the livestock show and rodeo, it hosts concerts from some of the world's biggest recording artists every year.


Being one of the largest cities in the nation, Houston has distinct shopping areas throughout the city. The Houston Galleria is the largest mall in Texas and the eight largest mall in the United States


Parks and Outdoors

Houston is in the nation's top 10 in total acreage of parkland. There are plenty of trails and parks for biking, running, and even water activities.

With more than 165 golf courses along with the mild winter climate, Houston a great place for golfers.

Houston has a 55-acre zoological park within the city


Houston is home to more than 10,000 restaurants representing cuisine from more than 70 countries and American regions. Food & Wine named Houston the “newest capital of great food” in 2013.

Housing/Real Estate

Houston is a very affordable place to live and a great place to raise a family. In addition there is no state income tax in Texas. The following website is a great resource whether you are looking to rent or purchase anywhere in the Greater Houston Area including Galveston, League City/Friendswood/Clear Lake, and Houston.


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