Skip to Main Content
Sponsored by

Meet the 2022 STAT Wunderkinds

STAT set out to celebrate the unheralded heroes of science and medicine, poring over hundreds of nominations from across North America in search for the next generation of scientific superstars. We were on the hunt for the most impressive doctors and researchers on the cusp of launching their careers, but not yet fully independent.

This year, as in past years, we’ve found inspiring stories and innovative research. All are blazing new trails as they attempt to answer some of the biggest questions in science and medicine.

Previous Winners:  2017  |  2018  |  2019 | 2020 | 2021

Kiran Agarwal-Harding

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Kiran Agarwal-Harding knows the importance of orthopedic care. He wants to make it accessible worldwide.

Daniel Blair

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Daniel Blair is combining chemistry and tech to power virtual drug design.

Daniel Burkhardt


Machine learning researcher Daniel Burkhardt is helping shape a new set of standards to evaluate AI algorithms.

Jasmin Camacho

Stowers Institute

By studying sugar-obsessed bats, Jasmin Camacho is revealing new clues about metabolism.

Caroline Diorio

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

A childhood disease sparked Caroline Diorio’s interest in medicine. Now, she’s working to make more effective treatments for children with cancer.

Brianna Duncan-Lowey

Yale School of Medicine

Science has only scratched the surface of microbiome research. Brianna Duncan-Lowey is taking it to a microscopic level.

Ana Gonzalez-Reiche

Icahn School Of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Ana Gonzalez-Reiche got her start studying avian viruses in Guatemala. Her expertise proved valuable when the pandemic hit.

Brian Hie

Stanford University

Computer scientist Brian Hie has a love of language — whether it’s in Renaissance poetry or protein models.

Alainna Jamal

University of Toronto

Alainna Jamal is advancing what we know about one of the biggest threats to public health: antimicrobial resistance.

Julia Joung

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Playing thousands of games of Go prepared Julia Joung for life as a biological engineer.

Hirofumi Kobayashi

Chan Zuckerberg Biohub

Hirofumi Kobayashi wants to turn the microscopic beauty of cells into tools scientists can use.

Hyunwoo “Tony” Kwon

Ohio State University Medical Center

For Tony Kwon, the path to better understanding tumor biology started with stag beetles.

Hussain Lalani

Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School

As a primary care doctor, Hussain Lalani sees patients struggle to afford their medicines. He’s hoping policy research could change that.

Caleb Lareau

Stanford University

Genomics researcher Caleb Lareau is channeling the “infectious energy in Silicon Valley” in his science.

Dig Bijay Mahat

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cancer researcher Jay Mahat made it his mission to help his home country of Nepal navigate the pandemic.

Avinash Manjula-Basavanna

Harvard Medical School

Taking a page from nature, Avinash Manjula-Basavanna is designing the next generation of biomaterials.

Chao Mao

MD Anderson Cancer Center

By studying a type of cell death, Chao Mao has discovered a potentially valuable target in cancer therapy.

Filipa Rijo-Ferreira

University of California Berkeley

Our bodies have biological clocks. Filipa Rijo-Ferreira is exploring whether parasites have their own.

Elizabeth Rossin

Mass Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School

Peering into the eyes of patients, Elizabeth Rossin sees a slew of scientific questions.

Laura Rupprecht

Duke University

Laura Rupprecht is trying to understand how our bodies sense sugar. Intestinal cells might be the sweet spot.

Lisa Simon

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Lisa Simon trained as both a doctor and a dentist to bridge the historial divide between oral health and the rest of medicine.

Olukayode Sosina

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Olukayode Sosina scours genomic data to find the hidden clues that might help scientists develop new medicines.

Jennifer Tsai

Yale School Of Medicine

ERs are a last resort for people without regular access to care. Jennifer Tsai is trying to tackle the underlying disparities at play.

Alexander Tucker

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Alexander Tucker is weaving together two distinct areas of medicine: pediatric neurosurgery and wound healing research.

Lawrence Wang

University of California, San Diego

In hunting for a weapon against malaria, Lawrence Wang found an antibody that’s now being put to the test.

Yifan Wang

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Yifan Wang is arming the immune system to fight cancer, one macrophage at a time.

Sara Zaccara

Cornell University

Covid-19 vaccines catapulted mRNA into the spotlight. Sara Zaccara is breaking new ground in our understanding of it.

Roger Zou

Johns Hopkins University

Roger Zou is working to give scientists better control of CRISPR — while he also wraps up his medical degree.

The Wunderkinds were selected solely by STAT's editorial staff. The award sponsor had no input in the decision-making process and the awardees have received no financial benefit from the sponsor.

Sponsored by