Bill Shaw graduated in Glasgow in 1968, then held house officer and registrar posts in Manchester from 1968 till 1971.
His subsequent career in orthodontics and cleft care in Cardiff included an MScD thesis on presurgical orthopaedics, a PhD on the social Implications of dentofacial anomalies, and initiation of an MRC funded 20 year cohort study of orthodontic treatment need and effectiveness. He was appointed to a professorship in Manchester in 1983, and a subsequent spell as Dean.
He established the Cochrane Collaboration Oral Health Group, and a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for craniofacial anomalies.
From 1976 his clinical practice was confined to cleft lip and palate and his research with his wife Gunvor and other friends and colleagues includes several long term collaborative multinational projects sponsored by the European Commission, and randomised trials of cleft care funded by the National Institutes of Health (USA), Action Research, and the NHS.
In 2008 he was appointed CBE, and a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.