Walter Peters was born in Vancouver, BC in 1945 and raised on a mushroom farm, so it was logical for him to enter the Faculty of Agriculture at UBC. After completing a BSA in 1965 and a PhD in Microbiology in 1968 Dr Peters left for the University of Toronto, where he earned an MD (with Honours) and a Fellowship (FRCSC) in Plastic Surgery. He took further training in Boston then became the Director of Toronto’s Regional Adult Burn Centre for 10 years, where he supervised the treatment of over 2,000 patients with major burns.
Dr Peters subsequently directed his research and clinical activities towards studying the reaction of a woman’s body towards implanted materials (breast implants). In his professional career Dr Peters has been awarded over $5M in research grants and has published over 160 papers and book chapters. He has delivered over 300 scholarly presentations to national and international meetings and has made over 300 teaching presentations.
Dr Peters has been an expert witness in over 35 lawsuits involving breast implants in Canada and the US. He has been a consultant to 6 major corporations in the US regarding breast implants, he is a consultant in the US to the Food and Drug Administration, the Institute of Medicine, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Health. In Canada, he is a consultant to Health Canada’s Expert Panel and their Advisory Panel.
Dr Peters continues to practice as a full time plastic surgeon and Professor of Plastic Surgery, at the University of Toronto. Dr Peters recalls that “The biggest influence on my life was meeting Dr. J J R Campbell (Professor of Microbiology) in the Dairying Hut at UBC (one of the old army huts). I was a 2nd year Aggie, living in poverty, in a single room in a very old rooming house. Dr. Campbell provided me with a study cubicle in the back of the hut, which I used for the next 5-years. He also provided an incredible amount of encouragement. He used to say “If you get straight A’s, then you can probably do anything that you want.” He was right.