Professor Guido Costamagna was born in 1952 and graduated in medicine at the Catholic University of Rome, Italy, in 1977.
He is trained in both gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery. He became Associate Professor of Surgery in 1992, and currently directs the Division of Digestive Endoscopy at the large (1,600 beds) Gemelli Hospital of the Catholic University, Rome. This serves as the tertiary center for referral of difficult pancreatic and biliary problems from all over Italy. More than 1,200 ERCPs a year are performed here. The center attracts a huge number of physicians from Italy, who attend training programs varying in duration from weeks to months. Gastroenterologists from several foreign countries have also been trained in advanced ERCP techniques over the years.
Professor Costamagna also directs the Division of Digestive Endoscopy at another University Hospital in Rome, belonging to the Libera UniversitÓ Campus Bio-Medico, a very young and fast developing medical school.
Professor Costamagna is President elect of the Italian Society of Digestive Endoscopy (SIED) and a member of the Board of the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE). He was Secretary General of the 7th United European Gastroenterology Week held in Rome in 1999. He is a member of the Editorial Board of several journals including Gastrointestinal endoscopy, Endoscopy, Hepatogastroenterology, and Digestive and Liver Disease.
Professor Costamagna has participated as an invited faculty member at several meetings in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK), USA, Canada, South America, Africa, and Asia, many of which have included live therapeutic endoscopic technique demonstrations.
He enjoys teaching and clinical research (main areas of interest: chronic pancreatitis, malignant diseases of the pancreas and bile ducts, endoscopic management of GERD, GI emergencies, and the evaluation and development of new devices in GI endoscopy) and has done his best to foster interest in clinical research in all his trainees.
He is the author of over 350 publications including journal articles, book chapters, and abstracts.
He needs some rest!
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- Actually, I'm a surgeon and a gastroenterologist. After I finished my fellowship in general surgery, I got mainly involved in hepato-biliary diseases. Therefore, I decided to train in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, because, at that time, ERCP was not available at my hospital. Since I finished my gastroenterology fellowship, most of my clinical work has been devoted to bilio-pancreatic and digestive therapeutic endoscopy, but I still dedicate one day a week to laparoscopic surgery.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- Professor Michel Cremer at Erasmus Hospital, ULB, Brussels, Belgium. Not only did he fully train me in therapeutic endoscopy, but, by following him like a ghost during my long periods of stay in Brussels, I was also taught clinical gastroenterology, medical methodology, human behavior, and about French Bordeaux wines. I still consult him whenever I need any kind of advice.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- None in particular, but the papers written in the seventies by the pioneers of therapeutic endoscopy have always fascinated me (if I have to quote one: Peter Cotton).
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- That you never end learning!
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- The biggest has probably yet to come!
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To set up a medical-surgical department of gastroenterology in my academic hospital, like the one in which I trained at Erasmus Hospital in Brussels.
- What is your greatest regret?
- Not having learned to play any musical instrument (especially the piano).
- How do you relax?
- Throwing balls (Playing golf in spring and summer and hunting in fall and winter.)
- What is your favorite sport?
- Fencing (when I was young!). Now I enjoy watching soccer very much, but unfortunately my favorite team plays 700 km from Rome (Juventus, Torino).
- What is your best place in the world?
- Where my family roots are: the Como lake (Moltrasio) and the Langhe (Cherasco), both in the northern part of my beautiful homeland, Italy.
- What is your favorite film?
- "Il Gattopardo" (The Leopard), by Luchino Visconti with Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, and Alain Delon.
- What car do you drive?
- A Renault Megane Scenic (but I recently fell in love with the new Alfa Romeo 147).
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- My therapeutic videoduodenoscope.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- I read novels on holiday and during air flights: Ken Follett and John Grisham are my favorite novel writers.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- My friend Peter Cotton invited me to join the crew and I accepted immediately with great enthusiasm.