July 14, 2024

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UW Department of Medicine recognizes top women medical professionals | News

2 min read

In late March, the UW Department of Medicine released their 2024 Exceptional Women in Medicine List, recognizing female medical professionals in the department for their contribution and expertise toward their respective fields. The list honored 35 women across nine departments, and included both doctors and academic professionals.

Dr. Heather Cheng and Dr. May Reed were among the many nominated women who were named in the 2024 list at UW Department of Medicine. Cheng was honored for her contribution and leadership in hematology and oncology, and Reed for her contribution in gerontology and geriatric medicine.

Each year the list honors women in the medical profession for their notable expertise, leadership, and dedication within their fields based on nominations by peers and co-workers. This list is evaluated by the Castle Connolly research team, which selects finalists based on a selection of criteria, peer nominations, and extensive research. From there, the team narrows their selections based on professional qualifications, volunteer experiences, and contributions to research and academia.

“I am extremely humbled by the nomination, and it is delightful to know that I was recognized for my work,” Cheng said. “It has been a long and rewarding experience.”

Cheng is an associate professor in the hematology and oncology division, as well as an affiliate in the clinical research division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. She has been part of the UW medical community for the last two decades, starting off as a student at the UW Medical Scientist Training Program, and eventually joining it as an associate program director in 2019.

“It’s been quite a full circle for me at the UW, starting my PhD here and ultimately joining the department in 2005,” Cheng said. “After my two-year fellowship here, I joined the hematology and oncology faculty in 2014.”

Cheng attributed her passion for hematology and oncology to her curiosity to understand scientific research, as well as bringing together new findings to decipher proper treatments. Her leadership style has always been collaborative, although she likes to stay behind the scenes where she can listen and dedicate time to patients. 

Reed is an associate professor in the geriatric medicine and gerontology division, and has also had a long journey at UW. She joined as part of a medical fellowship program in 1990, and says she eventually went on to do dedicated research in aging and extracellular matrix. 

“Variety is the essence of geriatric clinical work and aging research,” Reed said. “So many different concepts to evaluate and study. Never a dull moment.

According to Reed, leadership involved being solution-oriented, amid rapidly-changing expectations of each generation of colleagues and patients. Much like Cheng, she has also spent time working towards building on research domains with geriartic medicine and gerontology.

“Recognition is always an honor whether from your peers or patients,” Reed said. 

Reach reporter Soumya Gupta at [email protected]. X: @soumzg

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