Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Educational Pipeline Program

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Welcome from the Director

As Director of the Educational Pipeline Program, I love the chance each year to meet and work with Sayre and West Philadelphia high school students, and Penn undergraduate and medical students. Every year we all get to learn from each other and have fun!

I feel that I would not be here today had someone not taken a special interest in me and I want to make sure that I give back. I want to make sure that mentors are available for minority students who are at any point along their educational and career path. I want students who come from challenging backgrounds to have someone to talk to who may have a similar perspective or experience.

My service to the Pipeline Program allows me to return the favor of help that I have received, and continue to receive, in my education and career. But even more, the Pipeline Program helps all of the students – high school, college, and professional students – have exposure to mentors that they can take with them for life.

I hope this website helps to answer any questions you have about the Pipeline Program. Please email us at should you need any further assistance.


Sharon Lewis, MD
Assistant Professor, Neurology
Director, Pipeline Program
Faculty Advisor, Penn Med Chapter of the Student National Medical Association
Faculty Advisor, Student Interest Group in Neurology 



We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of Samuel A. Funt, MD, C’05 and Mia Belldegrun Funt, C’05 as the first-ever donors to the Educational Pipeline Program. Mrs. Funt was a volunteer at Sayre High School as an undergraduate and is now on the board of Technoserve and President and Co-Founder of ByHeart, a fully integrated baby nutrition company dedicated to translating leading nutrition science into products that set the best foundation for babies’ health. Dr. Funt is an oncologist and cancer researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; he was a UPENN Pipeline participant as a sophomore undergraduate and then went on to co-found the Educational Pipeline Program at Emory University as a medical student.

Ron and Karrie Belldegrun:

created a track for Life Science and Management, launched in fall 2021.