This year’s inaugural Maude Abbott Prize goes to Dr. Maya Saleh, Associate Professor in Microbiology and Immunology, a researcher in the Complex Traits Group and Department of Medicine and affiliated with several others, and is a highly regarded, accomplished scientist, with major discoveries already credited to her name.

Vice-Principal of Health Affairs and Dean of Medicine, Dr. Richard I. Levin and the first Maude Abbott Prize winner, Dr. Maya Saleh. Photo: Nicolas Morin

“With a growing library of awards from FRSQ, CIHR and others, major funding successes in her name and recognition on both North American and European research stages, Maya Saleh is an exemplar of excellence among women and among all those inspired to push past conventional boundaries in the Faculty, in McGill and internationally,” said Vice-Principal of Health Affairs and Dean of Medicine, Dr. Richard I. Levin.

“Good science is buffered by the good neighbours you have, and the good support system you have,” said Dr. Saleh upon receiving the award. “Since I started at McGill I have been really well supported. Most of the work that has led to this award is that of my team, and of course I thank my family, who let me devote time to my career,” she added.

Her projects are innovative and aim for a better understanding of an array of disease states. Remarkably productive, she has published no less than 10 papers in the last five years, including first author papers in Nature and in other high-impact journals. Her work is highly cited for an investigator so early in her career, with upwards of 391 citations in the last three years alone.

Maude Abbott

About Maude Abbott:

One of McGill’s first Arts graduates and a Bishop’s Medical graduate, Maude Abbott received a richly deserved honorary MDCM degree from McGill in 1910. In 1898, Dr. George Adami, then Chair of Pathology at McGill, appointed her Assistant Curator of the Medical Museum and sent her to Washington to study the methods of the Army Medical Museum, where she met William Osler. And so was Maude Abbott’s remarkable career launched.

Osler subsequently asked her to write the section on congenital heart disease for his System of Medicine. Her work culminated in her 1936 Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease.

Established by the Faculty last year, the Maude Abbott Prize celebrates outstanding women in the McGill Faculty of Medicine who are following similar pioneering paths from the outset of their careers, excelling in education, research or administration.