Provost honours 33 professors with Distinguished awards

McGill celebrates its most outstanding scholars and researchers with Distinguished James McGill Professor, James McGill Professor and William Dawson Scholar awards

McGill has bestowed internal recognition awards on three cohorts of McGill professors. Nine senior scholars received James McGill Professor (JMP) awards. Thirteen tenure-track assistant or associate professors received William Dawson Scholar (WDS) awards, five for a second five-year term. Eleven scholars became Distinguished James McGill Professors (DJMP)—McGill’s highest honour—awarded to late-career scholars whose work exemplifies excellence and international leadership.

“McGill is home to outstanding scholars doing excellent research on some of the world’s greatest challenges. Each year, I am honoured to congratulate the winners of the WDS, JMP and DJMP awards and to spotlight the research leadership of these highly accomplished individuals,” said Christopher Manfredi, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “My sincere congratulations to all the honourees.”

Among those who received the Distinguished James McGill Professor award are Dr. Louise Pilote of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Gregory Dudek of the Faculty of Science. A leader in women’s cardiovascular health research, Dr. Pilote was recently appointed as Deputy Director of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). Professor Dudek is a globally recognized expert in AI and robotics who serves as vice-president of research at Samsung Electronics and leads the Samsung AI Center Montréal, which recently doubled the size of its state-of-the-art facility and increased its team of research scientists.

The James McGill Professor awardees in 2022 include Bioresource Engineering Professor Valérie Orsat, an internationally-recognized expert in the development of functional foods, also known as nutraceuticals, in efforts to address global food security and safety challenges. Last year she received an Engineering and Physical Sciences’ Suffrage Science award for research excellence and for her role as a mentor for women entering the field. Another JMP awardee is Martin Schmeing, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, who in 2020 co-led the team that developed a McGill-made version of the RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test for COVID-19, the gold standard for identifying infections. The team produced over 15,000 tests for use by the MUHC testing facility and then set an ambitious goal to provide millions of RT-PCR tests to the Canadian government.

The William Dawson Scholar (WDS) award recognizes a scholar developing into an outstanding and original researcher who is poised to become an internationally recognized leader in their field. Among the newly appointed WDS awardees is Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey whose first monograph, Cross-Border Cosmopolitans: The Making of a Pan-African North America, published this year, stems from his doctoral dissertation which won Yale University’s Edwin M. Small Prize for “outstanding” contribution to U.S. history, Sylvia Ardyn Boone Prize for African American Studies, the Canadian Studies Prize, and the Willard “Woody” Brittain, Jr. Award. The book situates fundamental questions of twentieth-century U.S. history—immigration, civil rights, racial identity, radicalism, surveillance and state power—within a North American diasporic frame.

Both the JMP and WDS awards come with an annual salary supplement and an annual research allowance not exceeding $25,000. The Distinguished James McGill Professor award provides for a $10,000 academic stipend or a $15,000 research grant allowance. DJMPs have held James McGill Professorships for two seven-year terms while maintaining an outstanding research record, or have held a Canada Research Chairs (Tier 1) for two seven-year terms. DJMP awardees hold the distinction until retirement, and those granted Emeritus status retain the title.

The 2022 DJMP, JMP and WDS cohort:

Distinguished James McGill Professors – 11 honourees:


James McGill Professors – 9 honourees:

William Dawson Scholar  – 13 honourees:


A current listing of all DJMP, JMP and WDS awardees: