An eminent leader, Dr. Mohamed H. Sayegh served as the Raja N. Khuri Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Executive Vice President of Medicine and Global Strategy at the American University of Beirut (AUB) from 2009 to 2020. Dr. Sayegh started his career path by obtaining his MD with distinction from the American University of Beirut in 1984. He then moved to the USA where he pursued the rest of his training and spent most of his academic career. In 1987, he completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. By 1990, he completed his research and clinical fellowship in Renal Medicine and Transplantation Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He then ascended the academic ranks at Harvard Medical School, from Instructor in 1990 to Assistant Professor in 1992, to Associate Professor in 1997, and Full Professor of Medicine in 2004. By 2005, he was awarded the Warren E. Grupe and John P. Merrill Endowed Chair in Transplantation Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Schuster Family Transplantation Research Center at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. He is currently (starting January 2020) the Special Advisor to the President for Medicine and Health at AUB focusing on new business development outside Lebanon. He also serves as the Senior Advisor on Research in the Middle East and North Africa at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) / National Institutes of Health (NIH) to promote NIH-funded research in the MENA region.
Dr. Sayegh actively engaged in research and became internationally known as a world leader in transplantation, renal medicine, and transplantation immunobiology. As an investigator, Dr. Sayegh’s name appears in 359 journal publications. Since 1989, he has published 270 articles, 57 reviews, and 36 editorials in peer-reviewed journals. Among the 359 publications, he is the major contributor (First or Senior author) to 159 articles. Of the 159 articles where he is a major contributor, 128 are published in top-tier journals (Q1) in their respective discipline. Additionally, he published 41 book chapters, 8 textbooks/monographs, 50 proceedings of meetings, and established 19 patents. According to Scopus, his H-index is 95 and his total citations are 31,099. However, according to Google Scholar, his H-index is 110 and his total citations are 42,730.
In addition to his interest in research, Dr. Sayegh has extended his knowledge and experience in the scientific community by serving on several committees in various capacities. He served as Council Member and President (2000 – 2001) of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and as the Chair of the Transplant Advisory Board of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN). A few years later, he served as the Chair of the AST Program, Education and Development Committees, as the Chair of the 2005 ASN Program Committee, the Chair of the Program Committee of the 2006 World Transplant Congress, and the 2007 World Congress of Nephrology. His efficiency and determination to progress further in his career led him to serve as co-chair of the Steering Committee of the NIH Immune Tolerance Network and a member of the Executive Committee. Subsequently, he was selected as Chair of the Steering Committee of the NIH consortium, Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation (CTOT). He continues to provide ongoing editorial support as an ad-hoc reviewer for many prominent journals just NEJM, American Journals of Pathology, Kidney Transplantation, and Kidney Diseases, to name a few, and served as Editor-in-Chief for Organ Transplantation and held several editorial positions in many prominent journals.
Believing that leadership is about creating leaders, and in addition to his notable achievements, Dr. Sayegh proved to be a distinguished mentor with exceptional training skills when elected as a member of the ASCI, AAP, and FRCP. Under his direction, tens of investigators trained and grew to become active leaders in renal and transplant programs worldwide. In recognition of his exceptional efforts, he was awarded the 2008 First Mentoring Award of the AST.
Dr. Sayegh’s record of accomplishments encompasses many highly distinguished and prestigious awards and honors including:
1983 Alpha Omega Alpha
1984 MD Diploma with Distinction (Honors)
1989 UPJOHN Young Investigator Award, American Society of Transplant Physicians
1991 – 1992 Ortho-Grant-In-Aid Young Investigator Award, American Society of Transplant Physicians
1996 – 1999 Clinician Scientist Award, National Kidney Foundation
1997 First Young Scientist Award, Wyeth-Ayerst-American Society of Transplant Physicians
2008 First Mentoring Award, American Society of Transplantation
2008 NKF’s Shaul G. Massry Distinguished Lecture Award
2010 AST Basic Science Established Investigator Award (Professor Level)
2013 Gold Award, American University of Beirut Alumni Chapter
2014 Ben Qurrah Award, National Arab American Medical Association – Houston Chapter
2015 Fellow of the American Society of Transplantation
2018 Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) Prize: Fundamental Sciences – Biological Sciences
Internationally, Dr. Sayegh held a number of leadership positions. He served as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board and member of the Board of Trustees of the Harvard Dubai Foundation. Currently, he serves on the International Advisory Board for the Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Qatar Foundation. In addition, he is a Board of Trustee member with the University of Sharjah and a member of the Association of Academic Health Centers International (AAHCI) Steering Committee, the Regional Ambassador hosting the AAHCI MENA Regional Office at AUBMC, and the Chair Designate of AAHCI. He is also a member of the newly formed Academy of Arab Scientists of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences of which he is the recipient of the KFAS prize. Credited for substantial and landmark contributions, Dr. Sayegh was elected into Arab Business’ 2011 and 2012 Power 500 – World’s Most Influential Arabs.
In July 2009, Dr. Sayegh returned to Lebanon and the American University of Beirut as Raja N. Khuri Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Executive Vice President for Medicine and Global Strategy. He envisioned and developed an ambitious and impactful plan for AUB’s Medical Center and healthcare in Lebanon and the region, known as the AUBMC 2020 Vision, adopted by the Board of Trustees in June 2010. AUBMC 2020 Vision encompasses propelling patient care, medical education, and research to new levels of excellence unprecedented in the Middle East region. This strategic vision, with clear goals and intricate implementation processes, has generated a significant amount of local, regional and global support. The realization of the AUBMC 2020 Vision has been witnessed in many ways. The successful model of recruitment and “reverse brain drain” is the first attestation to the success of the vision which has allowed the recruitment of over 200 faculty members back to Lebanon since the summer of 2009 to join AUBMC from leading academic medical centers throughout the world and be part of this pioneering vision. This model was published in “Nature Middle East” to be used as a guide for other entities in the region. Philanthropists have also shown their trust and support in the vision through unprecedented donations. Since 2009, during his tenure at AUB, Dr. Sayegh raised a total of $230 million to support the AUBMC 2020 Vision. The vision has also helped the Lebanese economy not only through the creation of jobs and donations but also through catalyzing other market sectors such as construction, contracting, manufacturers, amongst others, with the development of the AUBMC 2020 Medical Complex and the new buildings that are being erected. AUBMC is leading the way through the establishment of leading Centers of Excellence (CEOs) in areas that impact the people of our region the most with an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. The model of CEOs has bread group practices, encouraging faculty to sub-specialize and work together in a complementary fashion. This environment fosters cooperation, synergy, innovation, opportunities for additional faculty recruitment, advances in basic and clinical research, and comprehensive and specialized teaching, and training of the future leaders in medicine and healthcare.
In 2015, Dr. Sayegh was appointed as the Executive Vice President of Medicine and Global Strategy at the American University of Beirut. In this capacity and in view of the new Health 2025 Vision, the Strategic Health Initiatives (SHI) was announced by the AUB President as the starting step in the path for operationalizing AUB vision on health, unifying AUB Vision: health as a demonstration area and creating an interim participatory platform of engaging campus and AUBMC on the health theme – Health 2025. Since then, this strategy evolved towards a new plan for a Health Sciences Complex (HSC), serving as the first in the Arab region. An integral component of the HSC is the establishment of a new flagship unit, the Global Health Institute (GHI), the first such institute in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. GHI serves as a hub for interdisciplinary research, capacity building, and dedicated service as well as an incubator for contextualized solutions to global health challenges emerging from the Global South. Finally, Dr. Sayegh is the sponsor and national ambassador of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 3 (UN-SDG3, Good Health, and Wellness) and serves on the UN-SDG Council of Global Compact Network Lebanon.