Patricia A. Baird Genetics

Past Chair, Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies and key scientist in the current discussion on the ethical and social policy implications of genetic knowledge.

"One of the ways in which Canadians can contribute is through research which expands knowledge and improves life."

The Story

Baird's internationally renowned work has focused on the population distribution of genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome, and on the social, ethical and health results of new knowledge of human reproductive biology and genetics.

Born in the United Kingdom, Baird received her education and medical training at McGill University. From 1978-89, she headed the Department of Medical Genetics at University of British Columbia, the first woman to hold such a position. Under her leadership, the department grew enormously in size and influence. In 1991, she became Vice-President of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and in 1993 she chaired the ground-breaking Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies, a forum for debate on many medical, scientific and legal issues.

In addition to her own research and teaching medical students at UBC, Baird is a frequent speaker on issues relating to new genetic knowledge.

Sources: Winners list, Order of BC;

UBC department of medical genetics;

Quotation, UBC Reports, Aug. 10, 2000;

photo, Government of BC.

The Person

Great Britain
University Distinguished Professor
Department of Medical Genetics, UBC, BC
  • MD
  • Order of British Columbia, 1992
  • Order of Canada, 2000
  • FRCPC, FCCMG, McGill, Montréal, Québec
Last Updated
September 17, 2015

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