As a University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine student on her pediatric nephrology rotation, Lyndsay Harshman (11MD, 14F, 18MS) noticed something about her young patients. Many children who had undergone kidney transplant later struggled to adhere to their medications—a difficulty that could lead to devastating health outcomes.

Harshman, whose interest in children’s brain development began during an undergraduate research project, realized she wanted to build a career treating pediatric patients with kidney disease while also researching how to help them stay healthy for the long term. And she could do it all without leaving her home state of Iowa.

“At that point,” Harshman says, “I was signed, sealed, delivered.”

Today, Harshman is the medical director of pediatric kidney transplant at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and an associate professor of pediatrics–nephrology, dialysis, and transplantation. She was recently named to the second cohort of the Stead Family Scholars, a research program that recognizes and advances the development of outstanding early-career faculty.

“I want our UI undergraduates, medical students, and residents to see that they don’t have to leave Iowa to be exceptional,” Harshman says. “You can have top-notch training and become well respected in your field, all while staying in your own backyard.”

The longitudinal mentorship is what makes Iowa so special … You’d be hard-pressed to find another place where you could have this many incredible mentors and have the outpouring of their mentorship be so robust.”
Lindsay Harshman, MD, MS

Medicine Iowa caught up with Harshman to learn more about her work as a clinician, researcher, and alumni advocate.