Judith Hall on a life of discovery in clinical genetics

This photograph shows Dr. Hall with the Principal of Green College, Dr. Mark Vessey, University Mace Bearer for the Graduation Ceremony on May 24, 2017 

Join Dr. Judith Hall this Tuesday, October 3, 5-6:30pm, in the Coach House of Green College, with a reception to follow.

Set on her way towards a traditionally male profession by a mother who loved biology, Judith Hall entered medical school just as the science of genetics was coming of age. She became interested in the genetics of short stature during her training, and that led her into career-long clinical research on all types of congenital anomalies, particularly multiple congenital contractures (arthrogryposis), discordant twins, and non-traditional inheritance. In her talk she will relate some of the clinical discoveries that she has witnessed and how long it took for them too to “come of age”—i.e., for their underlying mechanisms to be understood. She will also reflect upon her scientific life-journey in Clinical Genetics and Pediatrics, her good fortune and sometimes dumb luck, and on how much she now likes being an academic Elder.

Dr. Judith Hall, who was recently awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science by UBC, will open this year’s series of lectures at Green College by Professor Emeriti. 

The official citation for Dr. Hall’s honorary degree, conferred at a ceremony in the Chan Centre at UBC on May 24, 2017, read as follows:

“Mr. Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Judith Hall is a distinguished clinical geneticist and pediatrician whose prolific research on the neural mechanisms and genetics underlying human congenital anomalies has received national and international recognition.

Dr. Hall joined UBC in 1981 as a Professor of Medical Genetics and Director of Genetic Services for British Columbia. She served as Head of the Department of Pediatrics and the BC Childrens Hospital for ten years, where she played an active role in developing standards for clinical genetic services both at home and abroad.

She also established numerous liaisons with lay groups on a variety of issues related to specific genetic disease entities, health care delivery for children, child advocacy issues, gender issues, and international pediatric child health.

An influential scholar and leader, Dr. Hall is a Foundation Fellow of UBC’s Green College and a key figure in the establishment of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She has edited major international  journals and served numerous organizations, including the United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation, the Management Committee of the Canadian Genome Analysis and Technology Program, and the American National Center for Human Genome Research.

As Professor Emerita, she continues to be an active researcher, advocate, and contributor to her University’s intellectual life and its international profile as the recipient of countless awards, including her investiture in 1998 as an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2011 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2013 she received the Founders Award for Excellence in Medical Genetics from the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists. Finally, just two years ago, she took her well-deserved place in the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Mr. Vice-Chancellor, in recognition of her vast and extraordinary contributions to the study and treatment of genetic disorders, and for her profound influence as a health care advocate and leader, I ask you to confer the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon Dr. Judith Hall.”

Judith Hall will give a talk on her scientific career (“Driven by Curiosity : A Life of Discovery in Clinical Genetics”) at Green College on Tuesday, October 3, at 5 pm in the Coach House, with reception to follow, for further details, click here.