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Professor Colm O'Morain received his medical degree from University College Dublin in 1972. From 1972 to 1975 he held the position of Intern Senior House Officer and Registrar at the Mater Misericordaie Hospital. Following his Gastroenterology Fellowship in CHU, Nice, 1975 to 1977, he was appointed Senior Registrar at Northwick Park Hospital, London.
Professor O'Morain obtained an MSc in Biochemistry in 1982, and a Diploma in Immunology in and an MD Thesis from the National University of Ireland, also in 1983, and a DSc from the University of London in 1998.
He became a Fogarty Fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, where he worked from 1983 until 1985. He was appointed Director of Clinical Studies, Trinity College, Dublin, in 1988. In 1991 he took up his current position of Academic Head of Department at the Meath/Adelaide Hospitals, Trinity College, and Professor of Gastroenterology at Trinity College, Dublin.
Professor O'Morain is a member, or past member of many academic institutions. He is a former Secretary Treasurer and President elect of the Irish Society of Gastroenterology (from 1988 to 1992) and was elected Vice President of the Association of the European and Mediterranean Gastroenterological Societies in 1995 and President in 1997 to date. He is a member of the UEGF council and of their public affairs committee. He is on the Scientific Committee of the European Cancer Prevention Group, European Helicobacter pylori Study Group, Gastro Surgical Club and International Organisation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. He is on the Gastroenterology Committee of the Medical Research Council of Ireland, elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 1986, and has been an elected member of the Council of the British Society of Gastroenterology from 1993 to 1996. He is an Irish representative of the European Union Specialist Section of Gastroenterology. He is a founder member of the European Board of Gastroenterology, a group founded to harmonise training throughout the member states. He was elected Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology in 1998.
Professor O'Morain was elected on the governing council of the Irish Medical Organisation and on Irish Affairs committee of the Medical Defence Union from 1995 until 1998. He is a member of the Bockus International Society of Gastroenterology and the European Representative of OMGE, the World Organisation of Gastroenterology.
Professor O'Morain is on the Editorial Board of eight peer review journals and has published over 200 peer review articles. He has also authored and co-authored four books. His research interests are in Helicobacter pylori and inflammatory bowel disease.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- By chance I was an unemployed intern and was offered a position as Senior House Officer in Gastroenterolgy, as somebody failed to turn up. The appointed registrar also did not appear. I had a meteoric rise from unemployment to registrar in gastroenterology in the space of a day.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- I was fortunate to have been influenced by several greats - the late Bryan Alton in Dublin, Jean-Pierre Delmont in Nice, the late A.J. Levi and Tim Peters in London, and Kiron Dias in New York. Prof. Delmont was the first to introduce me to the enormous possibilities of gastroenterology.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- The research paper I admire the most is a letter by Barry Marshell to the Lancet in 1982 describing Helicobacter pylori.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- The most important fact I discovered is that eradication of H. pylori cures duodenal ulcer.
- What is your greatest regret?
- The biggest regret is that I have not patented any relevant discoveries.
- How do you relax?
- I relax by enjoying a pint of Guinness with friends.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Hurling is the most skilled and greatest game in the world, and is uniquely Irish.
- What is your best place in the world?
- My favourite place in the world is on top of Lugnnaquilla in the Wicklow Mountains.
- What car do you drive?
- I drive a Ford Cougar (bought recently) and the best electronic 'toy' is the key for it!
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- I don't have time to read books as I have too many articles to review.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- I was asked - and it is an honour.