Dr. Patricia Baird is an internationally known and respected geneticist who has made outstanding contributions in the field of clinical medicine, research and education.
Born in Great Britain, Dr. Baird moved to Canada where she received her education and medical training at McGill University.
In 1978 Dr. Baird became the head of the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia. Under her leadership, the Department grew from a small group of pioneer scientists and clinicians to an internationally known resource.
She is the first woman to chair a clinical medical school department at the University of British Columbia, and the first woman to be elected to the Board of Governors.
Her medical genetics course, regularly voted the best course by UBC medical students, is an outstanding model for teaching genetics to physicians of the future. The American Society of Human Genetics has used this model in the development of medical genetics courses for medical students in North America.
Dr. Baird’s research in the area of mental retardation, Down’s Syndrome and birth defects is widely quoted and respected. She has counselled thousands of families, offering compassion and advice for the family as well as treatment for the individual affected.
She was instrumental in developing the prenatal diagnostic program for women in British Columbia and is now the Chair of the Federal Royal Commission on Reproductive Technology.