Stead Family Scholars

The goal of this program is to recognize and advance the development of outstanding early-career faculty who are becoming internationally recognized leaders in their respective fields of research.
Stead Family Scholars receive $125,000 per year for three years to pursue new, unexplored ideas that promise consequential discoveries and will also be provided leadership and communication training to advance their professional development. 

2023 Scholars

Lyndsay Harshman, MD, MS

Associate Professor of Pediatrics–Nephrology, Dialysis, and Transplantation 


Harshman studies how kidney disease affects children’s cognitive development. She will use the funding to investigate the causes of these previously observed differences in brain development with advanced neuroimaging and animal models. 

Alejandro Pezzulo, MD

Associate Professor of Internal Medicine–Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Occupational Medicine 


Pezzulo’s lab previously developed a system to measure differences in how cells respond to environmental stimuli. He now aims to develop a “stress test” that could be used to create individualized profiles of cellular response for patients with certain chronic diseases. 

Amy Ryan, PhD

Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology 


Ryan’s work concerns a pathway that regulates how lung cells regenerate from damage. Her goal is to find new targets for therapies in a wide range of chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. 

2022 Scholars

Jennifer Bermick, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics-Neonatology

Bermick is expanding the understanding of neonatal immune responses to infection and sepsis to develop therapies that reduce infant mortality associated with these conditions.

Munir Tanas, MD

Associate Professor of Pathology

Tanas' lab explores the role that Hippo pathways, which regulate tissue growth, play in the genesis and metastasis of sarcomas. He aims to better understand these difficult-to-treat cancers in order to develop new therapeutic options.

Mary Weber, PhD, MS

Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology


Weber investigates how pathogens co-opt cellular processes to survive and replicate, with emphasis on Chlamydia trachomatis. The goal is to help prevent and treat chlamydia, the leading cause of non-congenital blindness worldwide.

Ling Yang, PhD

Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Yang studies how the body responds to environmental stressors at the molecular, cellular, and organismic levels to find links between those responses and metabolic disorders.






More information about applying for The Stead Family Scholars program can be found here.