Hebb Award Winners -
Jane Stewart published her first paper in 1956, entitled "Tensions between English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians." This turned out not to be the direction that her research would progress, although it was certainly predictive of the next 40 years of political life in Canada! Jane received her PhD in 1959 from the University of London, so it is fitting that she be awarded the Hebb Prize in England. Her first job was with Ayerst Laboratories in Montreal. She was hired at Sir George Williams University in 1963 and during the period 1969-75 she was the Chairman of the fledgling department at SGW, which of course we now know as Concordia University. These were difficult times for SGW as there was little money and Jane's job was to recruit faculty members with a promise that this would one day be a rival university to the one up the hill - namely McGill. Jane through her entire energy into this, a decision that clearly impacted upon her developing research career. I note, however, that she did manage to get a Nature paper during that time. And she did accomplish her goal: She managed to form the nucleus of an excellent department at Concordia, and especially the formation of what has become one of the finest behavioural neuroscience groups in the world. This alone was a major accomplishment.
In 1975, Jane returned to research with a renewed gusto. In the next 25 years, Jane has become an internationally known leader in two fields: behavioral psychopharmacology and behavioral endocrinology. She is one of the most highly cited researchers in both of these fields and remains extremely active and influential. Her many review papers in journals such as Psychological Review continue to have a major impact on the development of the study of drugs and behavior. She has managed to hold large NSERC, MRC, and NIDA grants concurrently, which is quite an achievement. Her work has been recognized both by the Royal Society of Canada (she is one of the few behavioural neuroscientists elected as fellows) as well as by the Honorary Degree that she received from her alma mater, Queen's University, and membership in the Royal Society of Canada.
Jane has not only been a builder of a fine department and a major figure in behavioural neuroscience research but she has played an important role in influencing policy decisions affecting research in brain, behavior, and cognitive science in Canada. Thus, not only has she been active in the Canadian Psychological Association and BBCS, she played an important role in representing BBCS researchers at NSERC. She served as Life Science Group Chair during a turbulent time at NSERC and played a major role in the development of the Allocations report that led to a substantial increase in funding for the psychology committee. She also worked tirelessly to increase the role and influence of psychology both at NSERC and MRC.
Finally, Jane Stewart has been a role model for young scientists. She has trained a large number of graduate students and PDFs, which are now found all over the world. But in addition, she has shown that it is not enough just to go to your lab to work but one MUST become involved in the administrative decisions that affect the work environment that we work in.
In summary, Dr. Jane Stewart has made a difference to her chosen fields of research as well as to the greater field within Canada and beyond. She is most certainly a worthy winner of the third Hebb Prize given by CSBBCS.
The 2018 conference will be held on July 4 to 8th in St. John's. Registration and abstract submissions will open in early 2018. Visit the 2018 meeting page.