Department of Pediatrics

Pediatric Pulmonology Alumni




“Since completing my fellowship in pediatric pulmonary medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, I completed a one-year sleep disorders fellowship at BCM. Following fellowship, I worked for two years, mostly as the solo provider in an academic practice caring for a broad scope of pediatric respiratory disorders in an underserved Appalachian population. Around that time, I independently developed a pediatric sleep disorders center at 6,800 feet above sea level. I credit my fellowship experiences for my dynamic academic and clinical abilities. We were exposed to a high volume of specialty patients and were given the opportunity to learn from the leading experts in the field. We experienced the ups and downs of chronic illness with some of the system's most challenging patients through our participation in multidisciplinary case conferences, outpatient clinics, and as the primary providers for our patients in the acute and critical care settings. Additional unique experiences included serving in a consultative capacity for other very active specialties (ex: cardiovascular intensive care, bone marrow transplantation unit), extensively rotating with the pediatric pulmonary hypertension team, frequent bronchoscopy opportunity with lung transplant recipients requiring surveillance, and a structured respiratory physiology curriculum. Collectively, these experiences were instrumental in preparing me for a career in academic as well as clinically challenging practice settings, and I could not recommend the program more highly!”

Viral Kothari, MD ‘16
Medical Director
Pediatric Sleep Specialists
Colorado Springs, Colo.

“Training at Texas Children's Pulmonology Fellowship enabled me to be a well rounded pediatric pulmonologist. Very little other programs will provide you with experience in respiratory diseases that you only read in text books. Speaking from first-hand experience, no matter where you end up when you graduate from Texas Children's, people will look at to you as the leading expert in the field simply because of where you trained. From bread and butter Asthma to rare lung diseases, transplant, pulmonary hypertension and more, the skies the limit. This is why I came back!!! [after private practice]"

Jamie Ruderfer, MD ‘18
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital
Houston, Texas

“I could never have imagined the depth and variety of disease seen within the field of pediatric pulmonary medicine. From asthma to rare lung disease, I have been able to see it all! This fellowship provides (arguably) unrivaled hands-on experience with the variety of diseases seen within the field of pediatric pulmonary medicine. Importantly, the fellowship empowers the fellows to act semi-independently as they progress through the fellowship. This distinctive experience occurs within a division that provides a sense of family, fun and genuine interest in your success all in the great city of Houston!”

Kristen Miller ‘19
Assistant Professor Pediatrics
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pa.

“I felt that my fellowship at Baylor was incredibly helpful in preparing me for my career and associated goals. The breadth and depth of pulmonary cases we were privileged to care for has provided me with a strong foundation in caring for patients in an area where sub-specialty care can be somewhat limited. Additionally, the mentorship I received afforded me the tools to step into leadership roles early in my career with confidence. 

I would encourage anyone to consider Baylor for training due to the wide range of pulmonary pathology they will see. Even more so, I feel the mentorship from faculty and the rapport between fellows gave my training a richness that I could not have anticipated. The pulmonary department is so supportive of the fellows and you could go not go wrong in choosing Baylor for further training.”

Heather Staples, MD ‘19
Assistant Professor
Palmetto Health University of South Carolina
Columbia, S.C.


Post Graduate Outcomes


See information about the career paths of some of our recent Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship Program graduates.

Year of Graduation Name Specialty Organization City, State
2020 John Palla, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Physician Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Chicago, IL
2020 Carolina Quintana, M.D. ICU Fellowship Seattle Children’s Hospital Seattle, WA
2020 Edouard Sayad, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Physician Lebanese American University Medical Center Beirut, Lebanon
2019 Lisa Barber, M.D.  Pediatric Pulmonary Physician Dell Children’s Medical Group Austin, TX
2019 Heather Staples, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Physician Palmetto Health-USC Columbia, SC
2019 Kristen Miller, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Physician Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA
2019 Natalie Villafranco, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Physician Texas Children's Hospital Houston, TX
2018 Jamie Ruderfer, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Physician Texas Children's Hospital Houston, TX
2018 Robert Tillman, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Physician Texas Children's Hospital Houston, TX
2017 Joseph Tayar, M.D. Med-Peds CF Transition Medicine Dell Children’s Hospital Austin, TX
2016 Viral Kothari, M.D. Sleep Medicine Fellowship Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX 
2016 Scott McKinley, DO Pediatric Pulmonary Physician All Children's Hospital St. Petersburg, FL
2016 Cruz Arturo Munoz, M.D. Sleep Medicine Fellowship Baylor College of Medicine  Houston, TX
2016 Manuel Silva Carmona, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Physician Texas Children's Hospital Houston, TX
2015 Kevin Kaplan, M.D.

Sleep Medicine  

Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine

Texas Children's Hospital Houston, TX
2015 Carolyn Robinson, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine  All Children's Hospital St. Petersburg, FL
2015 Chantal Spencer, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine  Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY
2014 Naga Jaya Smitha Yenduri, M.D.  Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine Arkansas Children's Hospital Little Rock, AK
2014 Malvika Sagar, M.D. 

Sleep Medicine

Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine

Mc Lane Children's Hospital Scott & White  Temple, TX
2014 Shipra Singh, M.D., MPH Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine Kaledia Health Buffalo, NY
2013 Ernestina Portillo-Melcoff, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine Lung Transplantation Team Texas Children's Hospital Houston, TX
2013 Matthew Hazen, M.D.

Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine

(Private Practice)

Georgia Pediatric Pulmonology Associates, P.C. Atlanta, GA
2013 Shana Crabtree, M.D. Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters Norfolk, VA
2012 Michelle Mann, M.D.  Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine  Texas Children's Hospital  Houston, TX
2012 Shailendra Das, M.D.

Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine

Lung Transplantation Team

Texas Children's Hospital Houston, TX
2012 Walter Castro-Elias, M.D.

Pediatric Pulmonology 

Sleep Disorders

Cardon Children's Medical Center Mesa, AZ