I have been called the “pioneer” of genetics research in Canada. During my career my research objectives followed a more eclectic style than for most scientists; I moved from one interest to another as opportunities arose. I did not concentrate on one specific area of science but was involved in a plethora of areas, all linked by the common thread of using genetic concepts and methodologies to search for answers. Since genetic material determines the nature of our cells and how they function, what better way to approach the intricate and challenging mysteries of the biological world?
I began in chemistry at McGill University but, after working at the National Research Council in Ottawa and Chalk River, Ontario, I moved to France to study biochemistry. During my six-year stay there I mixed with some brilliant individuals and was exposed to “culture,” including art, music, literature, dance, and theatre. I returned to Canada and settled in Toronto, where my family was able to take advantage of and support the cultural offerings of that city.
For over fifty years I have been associated with the University of Toronto. I have also worked at the Ontario Cancer Institute, the Research Institute of The Hospital for Sick Children, and Mount Sinai Hospital. I have been able to carry out research into the genetic basis of muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, and some forms of cancer. I may not be in the lab any more, but I stay involved by serving on boards and offering advice. I have been privileged and satisfied to teach and I have been able to recruit others to contribute to this work