Ellis Avner, MD
Fellowship Director

Dr. Avner is a physician-scientist actively engaged in mentoring and training.  In addition to being the Fellowship Director for the Pediatric Environmental Health Sciences Fellowship Program, Dr. Avner is the Founding Director of the Children's Research Institute and the Founding Associate Dean of Pediatric Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin.   To learn more about Dr. Avner, please click here.

Fellows are expected to:


  • be junior investigators (MD only) enrolled in ACGME-accredited fellowship programs through the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics and/or Children's Research Institute
  • establish a mentoring committee prior to beginning their research

  • gain competencies in ethics, research methods, research communication and grantsmanship

Career Development Program

The Center is committed to vigorously supporting career development of its members, particularly new and mid-career investigators entering the environmental health field and clinical/community health researchers. A major objective is to bring physicians and public health scientists to a level of expertise in independent research comparable to that of a new PhD. Realization of this goal will prepare them to do nationally-competitive research.

In order to accomplish this goal, our central initiative in this area is to:
  • develop a pediatric environmental health fellowship program
  • undertake multi-year, individually shaped programs with Center mentors that focus on developing knowledge and research skills comparable to PhD doctoral students or postdoctoral associates

Pediatric Environmental Health Sciences Fellowship Program

This fellowship program will provide focused research-support mechanisms for junior investigators and those in mid-career to enter into the environmental health sciences field. Fellows will establish:

  • solid knowledge base in relevant theoretical and empirical literature
  • learn data management skills for statistical analysis
  • learn statistical tools required to interpret research
  • develop proficient knowledge in the design and implementation of clinical and/or translational research

To learn more about the Pediatric Environmental Health Sciences Fellowship Program, contact Fellowship Director Dr. Ellis Avner at eavner@mcw.edu or (414) 955-2573.  Dr. Avner will set up a meeting with you following your initial contact. This meeting will focus on the possibilities of developing a mentored, "individualized" program for you given your interests and the Fellowship Program's resources.  Dr. Avner may suggest an additional meeting with Professor of Epidemiology at the UWM Zilber School of Public Health, Dr. Ruth Etzel, PhD, MD, an internationally recognized pediatric environmental health specialist , who will work with Dr. Avner and the potential applicant to identify specific opportunities.

For information about other career or training opportunities in Environmental Health for those who do not qualify for the Fellowship, please visit:


Education Framework

Fellowship instructors are faculty from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, the Children’s Research Institute, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. Samplings of core curriculum requirements as well as available electives are as follows:

Examples of Courses available for Fellows include:

  • Seminar in Public Health Research  
  • Social & Environmental Justice in Public Health  
  • Biostatistics  
  • Environmental Epidemiology  
  • Cellular/Molecular Toxicology
  • Toxicogenomics & Bioinformatics
  • Human Pathophysiology
  • Developmental Toxicology
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Industrial Hygiene
Special seminars developed for Fellows will also be available.  Please refer to the publication Pediatric Environmental Health Competencies for Specialists.

Training Timeline

The length of fellowship may last between two and three years and distribution of time and effort are as follows:

Two-year to three-year program:

Sample timeframe:
  • Year 1: Develop project, mentoring team, potential coursework while completing first year clinical subspecialty requirements
  • Year 2: Clinical subspecialty training requirements 20-50%; Mentored Research and Coursework (if selected) 50-80%
  • Year 3: Clinical subspecialty training requirements 20-30%; Mentored Research and Coursework (if selected) 70-80%
All Fellows will produce a quality academic product (i.e.; publication, presentation at national meeting) as mandated by their specific ACGME subspecialty requirements. It is expected that some Fellows will wish to continue their research for a 4th post-doctoral year, and consider writing a grant application for their future career development.  Dr. Avner and the Felllow's Mentoring Team will help any Fellows who wish to consider this option.

Fellowship Application

Fellowship application is ongoing. If you are interested in the Pediatrics Environmental Health Sciences Fellowship Program, please contact Fellowship Director, Dr. Ellis Avner at eavner@mcw.edu for information about the application process and fellowship opportunities.