KALLAI, Mary-Ann

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Bio: Mary-Ann Kallai-Sanfaçon

After graduating from Riverdale in 1966, I did in quick succession, a BSc at McGill, a MSc at Université Laval and a PhD and a post doc at University of Toronto all in Biochemistry. After a brief stint in pharmaceutical research at Ayerst Laboratories in Montreal, I have been working as a clinical biochemist in the hospital milieu. I have been working as the Head of Biochemistry at Hôpital Jean-Talon in Montreal for the past 13 years. I have been quite active in my profession having served as president of la Société québecoise de biologie clinique, editor of their journal, chairman of their annual meeting, Secretary of the Canadian Society of Clinical Chemistry etc. I have given conferences, written articles and given courses on various clinical biochemistry subjects.

One of the most interesting was a few years ago I gave a couple of conferences in Mexico City at the annual meeting of the Mexican clinical biochemistry society. This gave me the opportunity to visit the city and the surroundings and to meet a cousin who is a sociologist there and her family whom I had never met. I saw so many things that it took me a long time to digest the whole trip. Thank God that I saw the pyramids of Teotihuacán before the view is ruined by Walmart! This trip plus a trip with my family to Spain pushed me to start taking Spanish lessons which I have been doing for the two and a half years. Since Christmas these are private lessons with a terrific teacher who is becoming a good friend. The last two years my Christmas e-mails to my cousin have been in Spanish much to her delight. I now alternate my entertainment reading between books written in English, French and Spanish.

I married a classmate from Université Laval, Roger Sanfaçon who is also a clinical biochemist at another hospital in Montreal. During my first days at Laval, Roger asked me to go for coffee at break and it is only years later that I told him that I didn’t understand a word he said. He never knew as I nodded in all the right places and faked it very well. We have two daughters, Valérie (22) in second year medicine at McGill and Lorraine(18) in her last year of CEGEP at Jean-de-Brébuf. We love to travel and last summer after a scientific meeting went hiking in many of the national parks in the western USA. The Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, Mount Zion National Park and Monument Valley are not to be missed if you like nature, photography and hiking.

Despite the distances, I have remained close friends with Barb (Kalb) Samuels (Calgary) and Nathalie Apouchtine (Bondi Beach, Australia). I will be attending the reunion and would like to hear from classmates.