Before joining the IAEA as Director of the Division of Human Health, Abdel-Wahab – a graduate of Cairo University – had over 30 years of experience in patient care, teaching, and research in the field of radiation oncology, specializing in prostate and gastrointestinal cancers. She served on advisory boards, expert panels, and professional journal editorial boards, worked at the National Cancer Institute – Cairo University, was a co-lead of the Lancet Oncology commissions studying cost and access in oncology , and was part of national and international committees, such as the United Nations Joint Programme on the Cervical Cancer Control Steering Committee, and chair of ASTRO committees on diversity, disparity, access to healthcare, and integrated healthcare enterprises, addressing equity, access and quality issues.
Prior to joining IAEA, she was Professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner School of Medicine, Case Western University and section head of GI Radiation Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic, USA. At the IAEA, she leads a team that supports radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging centers globally, educates and trains specialists, supports quality assurance, conducts multi-institutional research and produces guidance on codes of practice, radiotherapy and other areas.
She believes in setting lofty goals, and that good mentors are the gold standard for career development, as are supportive parents, inspiring children, and great friends: “It takes a village,” she said.
She gives priority to mentoring the next generation of men and women. Abdel-Wahab’s advice to future leaders is to “embrace challenges and learn how to grow from them”.