From Regina to Rutgers

By Dale Johnson Posted: July 24, 2015 6:00 a.m.

 Dr. Sherine Gabriel, the new dean of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers, took her pre-med studies at the U of R.
Dr. Sherine Gabriel, the new dean of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers, took her pre-med studies at the U of R. Photo courtesy of Patricia M. Hansen, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

As Dr. Sherine Gabriel gets settled into her new position as dean of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, she looks back fondly on her pre-med studies at the University of Regina in the late 1970s.

“Academically, I thought it was really quite vigorous,” she recalls in a telephone interview from her new office at Rutgers.

She had moved to Regina when she was 10 years old – from Cairo, Egypt. “It was a bit of a culture shock.  My parents thought they could give my brother and I a better life in North America,” she explains.

After graduating from Campbell Collegiate, she enrolled at the University of Regina.

“We considered some other universities in other provinces, but had heard good things about the University of Regina.”

That first year at the U of R she took the basic science classes, including “Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Calculus – the hard-core stuff.”

Then she went to the University of Saskatchewan where she earned her medical degree. She returned to Regina for her jersey year – so has experience at the Plains Health Centre (now Saskatchewan Polytechnic) and the Grey Nuns Hospital (now the Pasqua Hospital).

Then she earned a fellowship at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Minnesota. She later held a fellowship at Wellesley Hospital in Toronto, and earned a master’s degree at McMaster University in Hamilton. She has attended graduate executive education courses at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

She has been associated with the Mayo Clinic in a variety of roles for nearly 30 years, most recently as dean of the Mayo Medical School at the Mayo Clinic.

Her latest career move is to Rutgers, where she officially takes over as dean of the Medical School on July 28, 2015. Rutgers, founded in 1766, has a student population of 65,000 – including 680 in the Medical School.

And her illustrious career began with a strong foundation at the University of Regina. “Undergraduate studies can be a trying time for young people. I didn’t feel that at all at the University of Regina. It was a very close-knit group. I felt supported – and challenged at the same time. My time at the University of Regina was a very positive experience.”