By Sarah Stack

Each year, the McGill Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences awards three prestigious prizes to deserving faculty members, which celebrate exceptional contributions to our tripartite mission of education, research and service to society, as well as the legacy of McGill luminaries who continue to inspire us today. We are pleased to announce the 2020 winners of the Maude Abbott, Haile. T. Debas and Rosemary Wedderburn Brown prizes.

The Maude Abbott prize was established in 2010 to recognize outstanding female faculty members with academic appointments who excel in Education, Research or Administration in the early stages of their career. This year’s winner is Dr. Genevieve Bernard, pediatric neurologist and Associate Professor at McGill University. Dr. Bernard is a world-renowned expert on a debilitating group of neurodegenerative disorders known as leukodystrophies. Early in her career, Dr. Bernard discovered the genetic cause of this disorder and gained world-leading insight into the disease’s pathophysiology, clinical evolution and radiological characteristics. Dr. Bernard’s continued research has established her as a leader in the field, and in her clinical work she is a passionate advocate for children with these disorders and their families.

The Haile T. Debas Prize was established in 2010 to recognizes a faculty member of any gender or ethnicity who helps promote diversity through mentoring, or by implementing new policies so as to increase underrepresented minorities in undergraduate or postgraduate training, faculty recruitment, retention and/or promotion. The winner of the 2020 Haile T. Debas Prize is Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier. Since being appointed to the Department of Family Medicine in 1979, Dr. Tellier has made extensive contributions to McGill University and to the broader community as an educator, administrator and researcher. The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Tellier is a long-time advocate and mentor for members of LGBTQIA2 community. He is the Chair of the LGBT Special Interest Group for the Society of Adolescent Medicine, a charter member of the World Organization of Family Doctors’ LGBT Special Group and is currently working to establish a clinic for migrant and racialized LGBTQ patients at the CLSC Côte-des-Neiges.

The Rosemary Wedderburn Brown Prize recognizes individuals with outstanding scholarly potential and demonstrated research excellence in the early stages of their career in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Nursing, Occupational therapy, and Physical therapy. The awardee will be pursuing an independent research program with a strong record of scholarly output, competitive funding, contributions to student training, and growing evidence of the impact of the investigator’s work on the research field, the profession, and on society. This year’s winner is Dr. Matthew Hunt. An Associate Professor in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation, Dr. Hunt’s work focuses on bio-ethics and global health, contributing to our understanding of disability, rehabilitation and equity in the global context. Trained as a physiotherapist, with a PhD in Experimental Medicine and post-doctoral fellowships in ethics and epidemiology and biostatistics, Dr. Hunt’s research explores, among other things, the ethics of research and innovation in disaster relief, wait list management, and the ethics of humanitarian healthy policy and practice.

Stories on each winner and their exceptional work will be published in the fall.

Congratulations to our three awardees!

July 29 2020