Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Irene Ayako Uchida
As a child, she loved music, so she played the organ, piano, and violin for the United Church close to where she lived. She studied English literature at the University of British Columbia. She went to visit her mother and sister who were in Japan at the time, and was able to catch a ship out of Japan prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 1941. During World War II, she had to live under circumstances of fear while the British Columbian residents believed that an attack on the Pacific coast was bound to occur.
In 1944 she continued her studies at the University of Toronto where she wanted to get a masters degree in social work. Her professors encouraged her to pursue a career in genetics, and as a result she completed PhD in human genetics at the University of Toronto in 1951 and worked at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. At the Hospital for Sick Children she studied twins and children with Down syndrome.
In 1960 she became the director of the Department of Medical Genetics at the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg and became a professor at the University of Manitoba (National Library of Canada and National Archives of Canada, 1997).
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