Prof. Kathleen Coard

Prof. Kathleen Coard is a widely respected researcher, author, and teacher in the field of medical pathology. She was the first female graduate of the University of the West Indies medical DM (Pathology) programme to be made professor of pathology. Her contributions to advancements in understanding and treating cardiovascular diseases, prostate cancer, and soft tissue tumours are considered outstanding. Coard’s work has made important contributions to the body of knowledge about her field specific to Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Her research has been published in internationally recognised journals such as the West Indian Medical Journal, the Southern Medical Journal, and Cardiovascular Pathology. She has over 60 publications to her name. Her research has been used to identify the causes and make recommendations for the amelioration of major medical problems confronting the region.

Coard was recently cited by the Jamaica Medical Foundation with an award for Outstanding Achievement in the field of Pathology and Research, 2009. Her involvement in many adjunct committees and commissions shows tremendous commitment and leadership within her field. She is founding member of the Caribbean Cardiac Society (1988) and of the Jamaican Association of Clinical Pathologists (JACP) (1992).

Her work and achievements have been extremely widely recognised. Among her many awards are: (i) The Dan Hoyte Prize in Anatomy, UWI in 1974; (ii) a six-month WHO-PAHO Fellowship in Cardiovascular Pathology, University Hospital, University of Western Ontario, Canada in 1983; (iii) a Fellowship for Advanced Teaching Skills Training; (iv) Award for the Most Outstanding Researcher in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI in 2004; (v) Award for Best Publication in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI in 2006; (vi) Jamaica Medical Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Pathology and Research in 2009.

She is recognised by her colleagues as a leader in her field. A 2007 letter of recommendation by Professor Owen Morgan of UWI’s Mona campus states: “Her lectures to medical students and residents in the DM (Pathology) programmes have been simply outstanding. She contributed enormously to the research programme in the department. . . . Through her participation in faculty committees Professor Coard became an active and effective member in policy making decisions. She has shown that she possesses organisational skills and that she is an effective leader.”

Beverly Steele, member of the OECS Nominating Committee, noted: “Professor Coard has an enviable record of successful research and teaching. A late starter, as so many people from the OECS turn out to be, she has lost no time in getting to the top of her profession. She has enormous energy and drive and has many, many years ahead of her to complete and further her academic work, teaching and volunteerism.”

In 2003, the UWI Alumni Association stated of her work: “More recently, she has been examining the incidence and other aspects of prostate cancer in the Jamaican population as part of a larger study aimed at comparing a variety of characteristics of prostate cancer among Blacks in West Africa, the Caribbean and America who share a common genetic background, although residing in widely different environmental settings. A comparison of prostate cancer across these populations is expected to shed light on potential causative factors in the environment as well as inheritable aspects of this disease.”

Professor Coard was educated at the University of the West Indies where she began in 1971. In 1974 she completed an intercalated year at the University of Bristol, UK, and graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Anatomy in 1975. Between 1972 and 1978 she attended the University of the West Indies Mona Campus in Jamaica, graduating with a MB, BS and then moved on to further studies, graduating from the same university in 1984 with a DM (Path).

She has also held key leadership positions in her career. Some of those positions include: (i) Senior Lecturer in Pathology, UWI Mona between 1991 and 2003; (ii) Professor of Pathology from 2003 to the present, UWI Mona; (iii) Consultant Pathologist University Hospital of the West Indies from 1984 to the present; (iv) PAHO Consultant Pathologist to General Hospital, St George’s Grenada; (v) Consultant Pathologist to Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK in 1996.

Professor Coard has also been appointed to numerous boards and committees, some of which include: (i) President of the Jamaican Association of Clinical Pathologists from 2003 to 2005; (ii) Council Member of the Caribbean Cardiac Society from 2002 to the present, including posts of Assistant Secretary, Secretary and Treasurer; and (iii) Council Member of the Medical Association of Jamaica from 2003 to 2005.

Professor Kathleen Coard is our Science & Technology 2010 Laureate.