Distinguished Scientist: Sarah Holstein, MD, PhD

February 11, 2021

Image with caption: Sarah Holstein, MD, PhD

Sarah Holstein, MD, PhD

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2020 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Sarah Holstein, MD, PhD
  • Title: Associate professor, UNMC Division of Oncology & Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine
  • Joined UNMC: September 2016
  • Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa

The Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist Award, sponsored by UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

Research focus:

  • Multiple myeloma and pancreas cancer

The goal of my research is: to develop novel small molecules that disrupt intracellular trafficking in cancer cells -- a strategy that we have found to be particularly effective in cancer types characterized by abnormal protein production/secretion, including multiple myeloma and pancreas cancer.

My research will make a difference because:

While significant advances have been made in the treatment of myeloma, this disease unfortunately remains incurable. In addition, survival rates for patients with advanced pancreas cancer remain dismal. Therefore we still need to develop new therapies that attack these cancers in novel ways in order to improve long-term outcomes for patients. My hope is that the work we are doing in the lab will one day reach the clinic as a new treatment option for patients.

The best advice I've ever been given is:

The importance of persistence for a career in research -- there is a lot of rejection and setbacks, but being persistent can pay off in the long-run.

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • I love playing the flute (music was definitely the path not taken for me) and am grateful to be able to play with the Nebraska Medical Orchestra.
  • My husband and I share our home with three dogs and a cat -- all rescues we have adopted since moving to Nebraska.
  • I have been a vegetarian since 2000.

February 13, 2021 at 2:32 PM

Congratulations Sarah!

Yashpal Singh Chhonker
February 13, 2021 at 1:23 PM


Dalia Moore
February 12, 2021 at 7:52 AM


Ed Rau
February 11, 2021 at 10:47 AM

Congratulations, Dr. Holstein. Thank you for all you do, and may your research find its way to a treatment option!

Amber Heinert
February 11, 2021 at 10:19 AM

Congrats Dr. Holstein. Well deserved!

Mariza Hoffman
February 11, 2021 at 10:17 AM

Congratulation, Dr. Holstein!

Catherine Mello
February 11, 2021 at 8:44 AM

Congratulations, Dr. Holstein!

Ruth Scott
February 11, 2021 at 8:41 AM

We are VERY proud of you! Congratulations!!