Dr. Roberta Bondar
© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
© Irma Coucill and the CMHF

Born: December 4, 1945, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Education: M.D. - McMaster University in 1977
Category: Basic Research

Born in 1945, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Roberta Lynn Bondar has always had an interest in science and space. She earned a B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. before obtaining her M.D. from McMaster University in 1977. Dr. Bondar realized her dream in 1992, when she was the first Canadian woman to travel in space. Bondar, a neurologist by training, was one of the six original astronauts selected. On the space shuttle Discovery, Bondar's role was to study how the human body reacted to weightlessness and the growth of plants without gravity.

Currently, Bondar is researching the physiological change that occurs to humans in space and how it applies to life on earth. It is hoped that the discoveries will initiate more effective treatments of diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, Parkinson's Disease and Shy Drager's Syndrome.

Bondar has received numerous honours and awards. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario and is the recipient of the NASA Space Medal. An excellent motivational speaker, with a strong concern for the environment, Bondar is a positive role model for young Canadians and a source of pride for the Canadian Space program.