The academic attainments of the professors listed below are nothing short of impressive, given that the average age of fully-fledged professors in the United States is around 55 years of age. Granted, nearly all of the professors featured below are assistant professors, but they are surely on the fast track to greater professional achievements. Excelling in academic medicine, they undertake extensive research while also fulfilling their respective teaching obligations. They have all earned doctoral-level degrees that are grounded in strong medical science knowledge, and with particular application to the health care industry.

These 10 medical school professors have attained their positions before reaching the age of 40. Indeed, most of them have done so before reaching the age of 30, and most of them have been recognized by Forbes magazine. They have distinguished themselves by undertaking a variety of in-depth research studies and projects that have looked at new approaches in the medical field. Some have obtained grant funding to finance their research topics, and they have either authored or co-authored academic articles that have been published in reputable publications.

1) Aaron S. Kesselheim; M.D., J.D., M.P.H.

Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Doctor Kesselheim practices at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

He has distinguished himself via in-depth research on regulatory policies and the impact of intellectual property laws as they pertain to:

– Pharmaceutical development
– Drug approval processes
– The availability, costs and use of prescription medicines in a number of settings

In addition, Dr. Kesselheim has investigated what kind of impact the intersection of public health and law has on the health care system. The impact can be seen in areas of health care fraud, insurance reimbursement practices and expert testimony in cases of medical malpractice.

Notable Accomplishments:
• Patent Attorney and member of the New York State Bar.

• In 2010, Academy Health — the major professional organization devoted to health services and health policy research — presented the Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award to Dr. Kesselheim. This prestigious award is presented each year to highly promising health services researchers who are under 40 years of age.

• He was named a Greenwall Faculty Scholar in the field of bioethics in 2013.

• Dr. Kesselheim has testified before Congress on issues related to pharmaceutical policy.

• He has acted as a consultant for the Institute of Medicine, the FDA, the NIH and a number of agencies within state government.


2) Adam de la Zerda; Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in the Department of Structural Biology at Stanford University School of Medicine

Adam de la Zerda studied for an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering and Physics at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.

He has conducted extensive research in Molecular Imaging. In the laboratory setting, he has focused on the development of instruments and tools to assist in the study of the highly complex spatio-temporal behavior patterns of bio-molecules in live animals. This research is beneficial for the treatment of cancer as well as ophthalmic diseases like age-related macular degeneration.

Professor de la Zerda has published more than 13 papers in esteemed journals such as Nature Medicine, PNAS and Nature Nanotechnology. He has been featured in leading magazines and national newspapers.

He has received numerous awards and honors.

Notable Accomplishments:
• In 2008, he received the Young Investigator Award from the World Molecular Imaging Congress.

• In 2012, he earned the Dale F. Frey Award from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

• In 2012, he was featured in Forbes magazine’s special: Forbes 30 under 30 in Science and Healthcare.

• He holds numerous patents.

• Professor de la Zerda is a co-founder of OcuBell Inc., a company that specializes in medical imaging devices.

3) Michael Pesko; Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Healthcare Policy and Research at New York City’s Weill Cornell Medical College

Professor Pesko’s research encompasses the fields of healthcare delivery, behavioral health, health economics and econometrics. He uses a causal research methodology along with secondary data to investigate substance use, and the effect that technology and changes in regulatory policies exert on the delivery of health care.

Professor Pesko has published/co-published peer-reviewed articles and numerous research papers on cigarette- and smoking-related topics. His in-depth studies seek greater information into the behavior of smokers, and what motivates their smoking habits.

Notable Accomplishments:
• Grant-funded research that monitored and assessed the impact that tax and price policies have on tobacco use within the United States.

• He has obtained a research grant in the amount of $22,678 from the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute.

4) Genevera Allen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics-Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine

Genevera Allen studied for her undergraduate degree at Rice University, earning a B.Sc. in statistics. She received her Ph.D. degree in statistics at Stanford University in 2010.

Dr. Allen is an esteemed neurologist and statistician. She has revolutionized the means by which to assemble and interpret the wealth of information concerning key areas of the brain. This has led to increased understanding about human thought processes. Dr. Allen is applying the same techniques to further the understanding of human genetics and studies of gut bacteria. The mathematical tools that she has used include high-performance computing, optimization theory and techniques from artificial intelligence. Her main research areas are neuro-imaging, imaging, metabolomics and high throughput genomics.

Notable Accomplishments:
• In-depth research in neuro-imaging.
• Extensive published research articles.
• Membership of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute within Texas Children’s Hospital.

5) Cigall Kadoch, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatric Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute — an affiliate of Harvard Medical School

Cigall Kadoch earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California Berkeley in 2007. She was an honors student. Kadoch obtained her Doctor of Philosophy degree from Stanford University in 2012.

Her research has focused on mutations in genes and the ways in which those mutations can lead to the development of cancer. She has also studied the rare, soft-tissue malignancy known as synovial sarcoma. He work has huge implications and applications for the development of new treatments to combat many types of cancer.

Dr. Kadoch has received countless honors and awards.

Notable Accomplishments:
• In 2007, 2008 and 2009, she received the American Society of Hematology Trainee Research Award from the American Society of Hematology.

• In 2009, she received the BD Biosciences Innovative Research Award from the BD Biosciences.

• In 2010, the American Association for Cancer Research gave her the AACR Women in Cancer Research Scholar Award.

• In 2012, she received the Department of Pathology Research Retreat Presentation Award. It was presented by the Department of Pathology within Stanford University School of Medicine.

• In 2013, Dr. Kadoch received the Frontiers of science/NCI Award at the Keystone Symposia.

• She has published eight journal articles to date.

6) Mitchell Guttman; Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Division of Biology and Biological Engineering; California Institute of Technology

Mitchell Guttman earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. He received his Ph.D. in 2012 at MIT. An exceptionally early achiever, Dr. Guttman has been making medical discoveries since he was a graduate student.

Dr. Guttman has carried out extensive research on genes, especially on RNA. With the assistance of co-researcher/s, he has discovered a new type of gene that plays an important role in organizing the way in which genes themselves work.

Notable Accomplishments:
• In 2012, he received the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award.
• Carried out ground-breaking research on genomes.
• Published a number of key papers on updated computational and statistical methodology.

7) Daniela Witten, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in Biostatistics at the University of Washington
Adjunct Assistant-Professor of Statistics at the University of Washington
Affiliate Investigator within the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Witten earned a Bachelor of Science with Honors and Distinction in Mathematics & Biology at Stanford University in 2005. She then earned a Master of Science degree in Statistics from the same university in 2006. In 2010, she received a Ph.D. in Statistics at Stanford University.

Dr. Witten has published over 30 articles on novel techniques for analyzing different types of data. She has also written a critique about the ways in which bad statistics can lead to erroneous conclusions. In addition, she has co-authored a textbook on machine learning.

She has researched research funding from numerous organizations. The organizations include the NSF, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the NIH Common Fund.

Notable Accomplishments:
• In 2001, Witten was a National Advanced Placement Scholar.
• In 2008, the American Statistical Association awarded her the Gertrude Cox Scholarship.
• She has received the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award.
• In 2013, Witten was a Pop Tech Science Fellow.
• She has co-authored a textbook: An Introduction to Statistical Learning.
• Dr. Witten has earned an NSF CAREER Award.

8) Zheyu Wang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Bio-statistics & Bio-informatics within the Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

In 2008, Dr. Zheyu Wang earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Peking University in Beijing, China. This was followed by a master’s in bio-statistics from the University of Washington in 2010. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2013.

Dr. Zheyu Wang has published extensively, and she has served on a number of advisory committees and panels. Dr. Wang has provided consultancy services to the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center and to the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research & Development.

She has carried out award-winning and in-depth research into the development of diagnostic tests for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, which is set to take on epidemic proportions in the not-too-distant future if a cure or effective treatments are not found. She has published articles and papers on her research findings.

Notable Accomplishments:
• In 2008, Dr. Wang received the University of Washington Graduate School Top Scholar Award.

• In 2010, the University of Washington presented the Donovan J. Thompson Award to Dr. Wang.

• She has received an award from the American Statistical Association.

9) Christine Fleming, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University

In 2004, Christine Fleming earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2007, she gained Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western University. She also obtained a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western University in 2010.

Her research has focused on optical imaging as well as spectroscopy instruments for use in interventional cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology.

Dr. Fleming has been successful in creating optical imaging catheters that deliver highly detailed images of the walls of the heart in live animals. This is highly beneficial to medical doctors. It means that they are better able to diagnose diseases and can carry out less invasive treatments for heart disease.

Dr. Fleming has received research funding and grants from a number of sources. These include:
– The Provost’s Small Grants Program for Junior Faculty that contribute to the university’s diversity goals.
– The National Institute of Health/National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
– The NSF Broadening Participation Research Initiation Grants for Engineering.

She has garnered a plethora of awards.

Notable Accomplishments:
• She has been featured in MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators under 35.

• She has earned the National Research Service Award, Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Health/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

• Dr. Fleming has undertaken a Medtronic Foundation Fellowship.

• In 2002, she received the MIT Community Service Award.

• In 2002/3, Dr. Fleming earned the Multicultural Award from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

10) Brian Dixon, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Health Informatics within the School of Informatics & Computing at Indiana University

Brian Dixon received his bachelor’s at DePauw University in 2001. He earned his master’s at Indiana University in 2005. In 2011, he received his Ph.D. degree from Indiana University.

Dr. Dixon has focused his research on informatics. Informatics allows information to flow in a more straightforward manner through within the health care system. This helps to improve the health care outcomes for individuals.

Notable Accomplishments:
• Dr. Dixon has published research articles.
• Worked with at the Regenstrief Institute, the health services research organization that is based at IUPUI.

Source and Methodology

Undertaken in-depth research: Many of these professors have become involved in research or projects that have looked at new approaches for the medical field. Brought in grant funding: Many of these professors have received grant funding for their research. Been published: Many of these professors have co-authored academic articles in established publications. Sought advanced education: All of the professors on this list have received doctoral-level degrees, and have strongly-grounded medical science knowledge.