What institutions did she attend?

  • St Joseph’s Convent Junior School, Grenada
  • St Joseph’s Convent High School, Grenada
  • University of Bristol, England- BSc in Anatomy
  • The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica- Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Doctor of Medicine (DM) in Pathology

Other Achievements

  • Jamaica Medical Foundation Award, 2009
  • Long Service Award- UWI, Mona, 2005
  • Award for the Most Outstanding Researcher, The Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI, Mona, 2004
  • A founding member of Caribbean Cardiac Society and the Jamaican Association of Clinical Pathologists


She is an avid sports fan and especially enjoys watching cricket. She also sings with her five sisters as “The Coard Girls”.

Kathleen Coard (Date of Birth: 18th July 1952)

Caribbean Women in STI

Professor Kathleen Coard is the first female professor of pathology in the Caribbean and a highly respected anatomic pathologist who has published in recognised scientific journals. She has taught and researched for more than 20 years at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica. She is a consultant pathologist at the University Hospital, and served in a similar capacity in other hospitals in Jamaica, Grenada and the United Kingdom. In recognition of her outstanding achievements in medicine, she was named The Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence – 2010 Laureate in Science and Technology.

Professor Coard’s work has advanced the understanding and treatment of soft tissue tumours, cardiovascular diseases and prostate cancer. For over a decade, she has researched this cancer in Jamaica, and was part of an international team that studied the genetic associations and potential risk factors for this disease in men of African descent. She also conducted significant research in Jamaica on the deaths of babies immediately before and after birth (perinatal mortality).

She has contributed tremendously to the professional development of members of the academic and medical community by addressing conferences and by leading training workshops for lecturers and administrators. She is also an internal and external examiner, and has served on committees to improve the curriculum, teaching and learning in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI.

For 10 years, she headed the university’s medical museum, and she is an active member of The UWI Alumni Association.

Kathleen Cecile Maria Coard was born on 18th July, 1952 in St George’s, Grenada. She remembers being always fascinated by science as a child, and inquisitive about how things work. Later on, she won The UWI Open Scholarship and chose to study natural sciences at Cave Hill. However, during her first year, she thought that a career in medicine seemed more challenging and intellectually satisfying, and transferred to the Faculty of Medicine at UWI, Mona.

This proved to be a successful change, as after her first major examination, she was awarded the Dan Hoyte Prize in Anatomy and a scholarship to the University of Bristol, England, an opportunity she used to obtain a degree in anatomy. Her dream was to pursue pathology and, on her return to Jamaica, she completed her medical studies and a doctorate in pathology, and copped several prizes during her academic career.

Professor Coard finds pathology to be intellectually stimulating and considers it the basis of medicine. She advises students, “To achieve excellence, you do not always have to do extraordinary things, but the ordinary things extraordinarily well.”


What is a pathologist?

A pathologist is a physician who analyses organs, tissues, bodily fluids and whole bodies to identify abnormalities and diseases. They provide information that helps guide patient care or determine the cause of death. In their work, pathologists test samples taken from patients to diagnose diseases. Some do post-mortem examinations to determine the cause of death. They may also teach and do research to advance medical knowledge. They typically work in hospitals, medical research laboratories, and universities.

Areas of Specialisation

  • Anatomic pathology
  • Clinical pathology
  • Forensic pathology
  • Hematopathology
  • Neuropathology
  • Molecular genetic pathology
  • Paediatric pathology

What do I need to study?

At CSEC and CAPE: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics

A degree in medicine is required, followed by specialized training in the field of pathology.

What skills and traits do I need?

  • Love for laboratory work
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Good organization skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Teaching skills

Famous Pathologists

  • Myrtelle Canavan
  • Camillo Golgi
  • Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow
  • Giovanni Battista Morgagni