Walker, Norma Ford

Norma Ford Walker, née Ford, human geneticist (b at St Thomas, Ont 3 Sept 1893; d at Toronto 9 Aug 1968). Her academic life was spent entirely at U of T, from which she graduated in 1918. She completed a PhD in entomology in 1923 under the direction of Edmund Murton WALKER, whom she married in 1943, and as a faculty member became interested in human genetics. She established her reputation as an authority on multiple births with her research on the DIONNE QUINTUPLETS. In addition to her university position, she was associated with the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and was the first director of the hospital's department of genetics. Walker's publications in genetics contributed to knowledge of a number of genetic disorders of childhood and to the application of dermatoglyphics to clinical diagnosis. Through her work and that of her graduate students, who included the first appointees in human genetics at several Canadian universities, Walker has had a lasting influence on the national development of human genetics as an academic discipline and in relation to medicine.