Dr. Roberta Bondar (Special Convocation)

Cape Breton University is proud to honour the accomplishments of Dr. Roberta Bondar, medical doctor, scientist, photographer, astronaut, and author.

Dr. Roberta Bondar is globally recognized for her pioneering contribution to space medicine research. Aboard the Discovery mission STS-42, the First International Microgravity Laboratory in 1992, she conducted over 40 investigations from 18 countries.

As the world’s first neurologist in space, with degrees in agriculture, medicine and research, she designed and implemented experiments on changes in taste in spaceflight. This first Microgravity Lab was a precursor and test bed for astronauts who would be living on the International Space Station for long periods of time. Experiments included plant physiology, human physiology and material sciences.

For more than a decade at NASA, Dr. Bondar headed an international research team, continuing to find new connections between astronauts recovering from the microgravity of space and neurological illnesses here on Earth. Her techniques have been used in clinical studies at the B. I. Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Bondar served two terms as Chancellor of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.

Dr. Bondar has earned the reputation as a leading speaker and consultant within the medical and scientific communities, in the fields of corporate social responsibility and care for the Earth’s environment. She co-founded The Roberta Bondar Foundation, a not for profit charitable organization, to reconnect us to the natural environment.

Dr. Bondar holds the following degrees: BSc University of Guelph, MSc University of Western Ontario, Ph.D. University of Toronto, MD McMaster University, Board Certification Neurology, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada with a subspecialty in Neuro-ophthalmology from Tuft’s New England Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of and an examiner for The Institute of Corporate Directors.

Among awards and honours, Dr. Bondar has been recognized with the NASA Space Medal, inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and into the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame for her pioneering research in space medicine. She is a recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. In 2011, Dr. Bondar received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.