News Release

December 26, 2012


Karen Kreeger


Perelman School of Medicine

This announcement is available online at

Penn Medicine Immunologist Chosen for Forbes 30 Under 30 List

PHILADELPHIA Greg Sonnenberg, PhD, research associate in the Division of Gastroenterology and the Institute for Immunology, was chosen for Forbes magazine’s second year of publishing a list of the top-30 rising stars in science and health under the age of 30.

His work was described as studying “why the immune system sometimes overreacts to "good" bacteria in the intestinal tract, potentially leading to cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.”

“I was extremely surprised and excited to be nominated to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Science and Healthcare,” says Sonnenberg. “It is an enormous honor to be named on this list with so many talented scientists and innovators from around the world.”

Earlier this year, Sonnenberg, 27, also received an National Institutes of Health Director's Early Independence Award (EIA) for exceptional early-career scientists to move directly into independent research positions by essentially skipping the traditional post-doctoral training period.

The awardees each receive $250,000 per year for up to five years at a host institution. Sonnenberg is one of 14 early-career scientists supported this year with an EIA, part of the second annual cohort of awardees.  Earlier this month, recipients of the 2011 and 2012 EIA gathered at an annual symposium hosted by the NIH Director, Dr Francis Collins, in Bethesda, MD.  Each award recipient had the opportunity to present his or her own research and establish valuable relationships with fellow awardees and senior members of the NIH.

The new blog by NIH Director Francis Collins also highlighted the fact that four of the 14 EIA recipients were on the recent Forbes list.


Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.