Judith G. Hall Medicine

Expert in congenital birth defects specializing in dwarfism and other genetic factors affecting children's growth.

"To me, high achievement is not the number of publications but being a successful female in a world of professional men. And by that I mean caring more about peacemaking and nurturing the individual and the environment than success, winning, owning or directing."

The Story

Born in Boston, Judith Hall studied under medical geneticist Victor Almon McKusick at the University of Washington, and later worked at U of Washington's School of Medicine with world renowned pediatrician David W. Smith. She came to UBC in 1981 as professor of medical genetics.

Hall has specialized in the genetic factors that affect children's growth, or lack of growth. Her particular interests include the mechanism of neural tube defects, the genetics of short stature, the natural history of genetic disorders, the genetics of connective tissue disorders such as arthrogryposis (a condition where some or all joints have reduced range of motion), dwarfism, and in monozygotic twins. She has clarified medical understanding of how folic acid helps reduce birth defects, has identified a new cause of dwarfism, and has developed new ways to classify dwarfism and other abnormalities. As head of paediatrics at UBC and BC's Children's Hospital, Hall works with physicians to develop guidelines for care of common disorders, and with lay groups to explain genetic disease and to help parents choose among the available care options.

Hall has published over 250 original articles, 60 chapters and 5 books. Her 2-volume Human Malformations and Related Anomalies, co-written with Drs. Roger E. Stevenson and Richard M. Goodman, received the Association of American Publishers award for best medical book published in 1993.

Dr. Hall is a Board member of Genome Canada, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Vancouver Foundation, and the Canadian Institute of Academic Medicine. She has served as president of the American Society of Human Genetics and of the American Pediatric Society. A dual citizen of Canada and the United States, Dr. Hall was named one of America's top 1,000 doctors by American Health magazine in 1996.

Sources: Council of Science and Technology Advisors; Dr. Hall's webpage.

Photo: Dr. Hall's webpage.

The Person

August 3, 1939
Boston, Massachusetts
Professor, Pediatrics/Medical Genetics; Physician-in-Chief
Department of Pediatrics, UBC; Children's & Women's Health Centre of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
  • MSc, U of Washington, Seattle
  • MD, U of Washington, 1966
  • G. Malcolm Brown Award (Cdn.Fed. of Biological Societies), 1999
  • Officer of the Order of Canada, 1998
  • Gold Medal (BC Science Council), 1996
  • Senior Killam Research Prize
  • Phoenix-Anni Verdi Award for Genetic Research (Italian Medical Genetics Society)
Victor Almon McKusick, American physician considered the founder of modern medical genetics
Last Updated
June 17, 2015

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