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Eamonn Quigley is currently Professor of Medicine and Human Physiology, and Head of the Medical School at University College Cork, Ireland. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology and Secretary-General of OMGE.
His beginnings were in one of the most remote, but wildly beautiful, parts of West Cork. At the age of ten he moved approximately ten miles to a village of a hundred people (something he then regarded as a teeming metropolis). He graduated in Medicine from University College Cork in 1976.
Following his intern year, Professor Quigley moved to Glasgow, where he had the good fortune to work for the late Geoffrey Watkinson. Gerry Crean also taught him endoscopy here. He then spent two equally formative years as a full-time research fellow at the Mayo Clinic, under the direction of Sidney Phillips.
From 1983 to 1986 Professor Quigley was Lecturer/Senior Registrar at the Hope Hospital in Salford. There he worked for Lord Leslie Turnberg - another giant of GI. In 1986, he moved to the University of Nebraska in Omaha where he spent thirteen exciting and busy years, including seven as Division Chief.
In 1998, an opportunity arose to combine his research interests in gastroenterology and physiology, and brought him back to where he started - Cork. The chance to become more directly involved in the day-to-day running of a medical school influenced this decision (as did the affect of the Hibernian homing gene).
Professor Quigley is married to Una and they have three daughters and one son.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- The good fortune to work with the late Geoffrey Watkinson, who not only ignited an interest in gastroenterology, but also inculcated an approach to clinical practice and research that has stayed with me ever since. Its combination of medicine, endoscopy, and pathology and the rigor of a pathophysiological approach to clinical problems also attracted me.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- Surprisingly, my English teacher, John Devitt, at Glenstal Abbey School, who introduced me to literature and to the sheer pleasure to be gained from the creativity of those who are truly talented.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- Difficult to say - possibly Walter Cannon's papers on motility - classics of observation, description, and interpretation.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- That you can, and will inevitably, be proven wrong.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- Believing, fortunately for a short time, that success was measured purely in terms of the length of your CV.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To do something truly worthwhile - write a novel, sing a song, or paint a picture: all impossible.
- What is your greatest regret?
- Not spending more time with my wife and children, especially as the children were growing up.
- How do you relax?
- Just being with my family, having dinner and conversation with family and friends, reading, and listening to opera and other music.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Easy, Munster Rugby!
- What is your best place in the world?
- Still the same! West Cork on a clear summer's day (a rare event!).
- What is your favorite film?
- "The Dead", John Huston's last film - an adaptation of Joyce's perfect story.
- What car do you drive?
- A 1987 Mercedes 230TL - the best car I have ever owned!
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- I am incapable of using any form of electronic device, apart from my laptop.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- Volume II of Michael Holroyd's biography of George Bernard Shaw
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- It became increasingly difficult to avoid Roy Pounder at meetings!