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Andrés Cárdenas is a Staff Member of the Institute of Digestive Diseases and Metabolism at the Hospital Clinic and University of Barcelona. He previously held a post of Attending Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, USA and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
He was born in Medellín, Colombia in 1969 and grew up in Chicago, USA. He returned with his family to South America where he attended high school and Medical School at Instituto de Ciencias de la Salud (CES).
After qualifying, he trained in Internal Medicine at Boston University Medical Center in Boston. During his training he became interested in advanced liver disease and its complications, further pursuing a research fellowship for 2 years in Hepatology at Hospital Clinic and University of Barcelona in Spain under the guidance of Vicente Arroyo and Pere Gines.
He returned to Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to complete a clinical fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology where he worked closely with J. Thomas Lamont, Nezam Afdhal and Ciaran Kelly. During his training he also completed a Masters in Clinical Investigation at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he learned the process of drug development and running clinical trials. He completed an Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship in his final year of training.
His main research interests are the pathophysiology of ascites and renal dysfunction in cirrhosis, endoscopic procedures in portal hypertension and ERCP in liver transplant recipients. He has numerous publications on peer-reviewed journals and in multiple textbooks in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He is an active member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, European Association for the Study of the Liver, American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and Massachusetts Medical Society.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist/hepatologist?
- The combination of fascinating pathophysiology and challenging procedures.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- J Thomas Lamont for his wonderful way of integrating clinical care and research. In addition he is a great writer and taught me all about medical writing.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- A seminal paper by Sheila Sherlock. (Hecker R, Sherlock S. Electrolyte and circulatory changes in terminal liver failure. Lancet 1956; 2: 1221-5). This elegant study was the first demonstration that patients with advanced cirrhosis had severe disturbances in hemodynamics and serum sodium due to arterial vasodilation. In addition they showed that this underlying circulatory dysfunction was reversible with the administration of intravenous vasoconstrictors, a treatment still used today.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- That the best tool for performing successful Clinical Research is patience!
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- Spending too much time (1 year) on a project that from the beginning I had doubts would work. Should have bagged the project right from the start.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- Running a full marathon.
- What is your greatest regret?
- Not learning more languages.
- How do you relax?
- I go running.
- What is your favorite sport?
- What is your best place in the world?
- A small town in the Costa Brava of Spain called Calella.
- What is your favorite film?
- Most of the movies by Pedro Almodovar.
- What car do you drive?
- A Golf.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- Don’t have a favorite electronic toy- but my Palm Pilot is the most useful.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- “A short history of nearly everything” by Bill Bryson.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- This is one of the best medical websites I have encountered where medical and GI information is updated daily.