Stella Kourembanas is the Clement A. Smith Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Chief of the Division of Newborn Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital & Academic Chair of the Harvard Program in Neonatology.
Dr. Kourembanas is an internationally recognized expert on the biology of hypoxia stem cell therapies in developmental and vascular diseases of the lung. She is an elected member to American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Pediatric Academic Societies. She has given several State-of-the-Art, Keynote lectures, and named lectureships on her research discoveries at National and International Symposia and has served as a member of NIH study sections on Lung Biology & Pathology and Respiratory Integrative Biology & Translational Research.
As she has said, she wanted to become a doctor from the age of 11, to make a difference in people’s lives, but also because she was curious about how the human body works.
She comes from the village Kynigos in Pylos, Messinia and emigrated from Greece with her family to the United States at the age of six. She was raised in Brooklyn, New York and attended Barnard College. She received her M.D. from New York University Medical Center and completed her residency in Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. She subsequently completed a Fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in the Joint Program in Neonatology of Harvard Medical School, and was appointed to the Faculty of the same Program. She rose through the ranks to Professor at Harvard Medical School, and in 2005, she was appointed Chief of Neonatology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Academic Chair of the Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Program.
She has been the recipient of two teaching awards from the Harvard Programs for excellence in clinical teaching and for mentoring the career development of Pediatric Residents (Janeway Award) and Neonatology Fellows (Bernfield Award). In particular, the Charles A. Janeway Teaching Award is considered the most prestigious distinction for teaching at Boston Children’s Hospital.
In 2016 she was named an honorary professor of the medical school of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. For her, it was more than an honor, because she received recognition from the place where she was born.
She is married to Dr. Alexandros Mitsialis, who is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, at Harvard Medical School and Director, Animal Models of Lung Diseases, Division of Newborn Medicine in Boston Children’s Hospital.