Dr. Pallister came to Montana with his wife in 1947 as a general practitioner and to work in an institution for the mentally handicapped. During his time there he was involved in diagnostic efforts to provide better care and treatment for the residents.
Over the years he attracted many students, geneticists, surgeons, and other professionals to come to the institution. Over time, Dr. Pallister began to preserve tissue from all patients that did not carry a diagnosis in order to help with a diagnosis at a later date.
In 1963 Dr. Pallister and physician Dr. J. Allen Miller began chromosome analyses. At this time, there were two patients in the institution, a man in his late thirties and a sixteen-year-old girl, who shared many similar characteristics including the extra small chromosome that was discovered in each patient. Dr. Pallister was convinced they had the same condition. After further study with other physicians, they were both found to have the isochromosome producing four copies of the short arm of chromosome 12.
It is now known as Pallister-Killian Mosaic Syndrome. Dr. Pallister graciously came to the first PKS medical conference held at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2006 and met many families of children with PKS.Dr. Pallister and his wife Willa, “Willie” had 15 children.
He and his son Adam, who also has a recently discovered chromosome abnormality, lived in the hills of Montana. They spent most of their time working on the ranch, hunting, gardening, and repairing cars, tractors, and equipment.
On July 11, 2014, Dr. Pallister was feted for his outstanding work at a Jubilee in his honor.
On March 9, 2018, Ol' Phil passed away at home.