Elmbrook Schools Logo
Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Bill Steinbach
Dr. Bill Steinbach senior photo

Brookfield Central Class of 1990

Dr. Bill Steinbach's research is saving lives by helping children with cancer fight infectious diseases.

Steinbach began his educational journey at Hillside Elementary and Elmbrook Middle School (currently Pilgrim Park) before becoming a Brookfield Central Lancer. While attending Central, Steinbach was a member of the football, wrestling, and tennis teams, and he regularly participated in the Science Fair. "What I've appreciated most in my time since graduation is how dedicated my science teachers were," said Steinbach. "They helped to initially fuel my interests for the field that I am in today." He recognized his Biology teacher James Barnes, Chemistry teacher Joseph Melter, Physics teacher Jay Zimmerman, and History teacher Phil Keuhn for the positive impact that they had on him during his Elmbrook career.

Bill graduated from Central in 1990 and continued his education at the University of Notre Dame with a major in Biology. During his time at Notre Dame, Steinbach did independent research in the Biology department, played intramural water polo and volleyball, and was sure to watch every football game. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1994 and went on to the University of North Carolina's School of Medicine to earn his Doctorate in Medicine in 1998. Steinbach then did his Pediatric Residency training at Stanford University from 1998 to 2001.

After completing his fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Duke in 2004, Steinbach has been a faculty member at the Duke University School of Medicine. There he serves as the Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and is focused on complicated infections in children with cancer or who have undergone bone marrow or organ transplantation. "I run a molecular biology research laboratory to understand how certain infections kill using various animal models, develop novel biomarkers to diagnose infections, and design new drugs," he explained. In addition, Bill directs a 55-site $11 million NIH-funded multinational research consortium, The International Pediatric Fungal Network, that focuses on the most deadly and invasive fungal infections in patients. He has also written over 150 scientific articles, is co-editing his tenth book on pediatric infectious diseases, and delivers about a dozen international lectures each year.

In 2017, Steinbach won the Oswald Avery Award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America as the top infectious diseases researcher under age 45 in the United States that year. Today, Steinbach is married to his wife, Sandy, and they have three children together - Amelia, Aidan, and Conner. Bill and his family live in Durham, North Carolina and in his free time, he plays in two tennis leagues and loves to go wakeboarding at their beach house in Nags Head, NC.

You can learn more about Dr. Steinbach and his work at his website, steinbachlab.org.

For more alumni stories, district updates, and to connect with fellow alumni, follow Elmbrook Schools on LinkedIn. To recommend an alum for our series, please click here.