Three named Distinguished University Professors

Three professors are the latest recipients of Distinguished University Professorships (DUP) awards, joining a select group of faculty members recognized for exceptional scholarly careers. Honoured this year are David Sherry (Psychology, Social Science), Marilyn Ford-Gilboe (Nursing, Health Sciences) and Gregor Reid (Microbiology and Immunology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry).

The Distinguished University Professorship Award acknowledges sustained excellence in scholarship over a substantial career at Western. The award includes a citation, the right to use the title, an opportunity for a public lecture and a $10,000 prize to be used for scholarly activity at any time.

David Sherry

David Sherry has made sustained contributions to research, teaching and service at Western over the last three decades. According to his colleagues, his work has directly shaped the landscape of Western as an institution.

Sherry’s international reputation in behaviour, cognition and neuroscience helped establish the field as a signature research strength of Western. He played leadership roles in establishing and administering both the graduate and undergraduate programs in Neuroscience at Western, and helped lay the foundation for the successful CERC award in cognitive neuroscience to Western, including the department’s more recent other successes in this field. Sherry played a key leadership role in obtaining multiple CFI grants to establish Western as an international leader in avian research in general, and in the field of the evolution of memory and the brain.

Through multiple administrative roles, including directorships and Associate Chair roles, he worked tirelessly to further Western’s excellence in research and teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Sherry has simultaneously sustained an innovative research program that has made him an internationally recognized authority in comparative cognitive neuroscience, particularly in the area of spatial memory in food-caching birds.

Marilyn Ford-Gilboe

Marilyn Ford-Gilboe has established herself as a world leader and an internationally acclaimed researcher in the area of women’s health, violence, and health equity.

She has made key contributions towards a better understanding of the factors and conditions that shape the health, safety and well-being of women with histories of intimate partner violence and in developing trauma and violence-informed health care approaches and interventions that are appropriate and effective for diverse groups of women. Her extraordinary accomplishments are evidenced by the number of peer-reviewed manuscripts published in top-tier journals in her field, with nearly 3,000 citations, and by the number of awards that she has attained over her academic career.

Ford-Gilboe was one of 20 researchers profiled in Legacies of Excellence, a book highlighting the history of the Medical Research Council of Canada (2000) and her scholarship has been acknowledged in various other forms, such as a Fellowship at the American Academy of Nursing (2011).

Her funded research program and the work she is co-leading on metrics to develop and validate new self-report measures of complex concepts, including equity-oriented health care and severity of intimate partner violence has advanced science and informed practice in Canada and abroad. Her work has impacted various fields of research from violence against women, trauma-informed interventions and policy.

Gregor Reid
Microbiology and Immunology

Gregor Reid is recognized as a Canadian and international pioneer in the areas of probiotics, beneficial microbes, and the microbiome. His has more than 500 publications to his name with more than 30,000 citations and a Google Scholar H-index of 93 – which places him in the top 1 per cent of researchers worldwide in microbiology and the microbiome.

Reid’s research has led to significant clinical translational and commercial applications. He was a pioneer in understanding the microbiome and the possibility of probiotic treatment in an era when this research was largely considered ‘fringe’ science.

Reid has also been able to translate much of his research, being awarded numerous patents related to beneficial microbes, developing a healthcare product for vaginal microbiota restoration and establishing probiotic yogurt kitchens in Africa as part of the Western Heads East program. This work has allowed many women in impoverished villages to build self-sustaining yogurt businesses that are now reached by more than 250,000 people. In 2016, Reid and his partners received a $1.45 million grant from the International Development Research Centre to expand this program with a goal to reach one million people in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Reid has received several major awards in recognition of his outstanding work through many international, national, provincial, and local institutions and agencies.

Western also selected 11 Faculty Scholars to recognize their significant achievements in teaching or research. The recipients are considered all-around scholars and will hold the title of Faculty Scholar for two years and receive $7,000 each year for scholarly activities.

This year’s Faculty Scholars are:

  • Richard Moll, English and Writing Studies
  • Stephan Vachon, Ivey Business School
  • Claire Crooks, Education
  • David Purcell, Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Lars Konermann, Chemistry
  • Zoe Lindo, Biology
  • Godwin Arku, Geography
  • Shelley McKellar, History
  • Laura Stephenson, Political Science
  • Alison Allan, Anatomy & Cell Biology
  • David Palma, Oncology