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Professor Guido Tytgat was born on December 25, 1937 in Izegem, Belgium and holds Belgian nationality. He is married and has four children.
He graduated from Medical School at the University of Louvain, Belgium, MD, Maxima cum laude, in July 1963 and obtained a PhD at the University of Louvain in July 1971.
Professor Tytgat began his postgraduate training as a Fellow in Internal Medicine at the Hospital St. Rafaël funded by the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research. He then undertook postdoctoral research at the University of Washington, Seattle before being appointed Visiting Medical Scientist in 1969.
Professor Tytgat returned to Europe as Lecturer in Gastroenterology and Head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in September 1971 and was appointed Consultant in Gastroenterology at the Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam. He became Professor in Gastroenterology, University of Amsterdam, in August 1976 a position he held until 2003, when he became Emeritus Professor.
Professor Tytgat is a member of many distinguished scientific organizations including the Royal Dutch Academy of Science and is on the Editorial Boards of a number of world-renowned journals. He is currently associate editor of Gastroenterology. He has held a number of distinguished lectureships and visiting professorial positions around the world.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- After choosing between a musical career and medicine, I ultimately ended up in a coagulation laboratory. I first studied fibrosis in liver cirrhosis and ulcerative colitis, and thereby almost automatically entered gastroenterology.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- I do not recall a particular teacher during my basic training. When I came to Amsterdam I attended some lectures by Professor Borst which were excellent. Incidentally, when Professor Borst retired later on and became emeritus, his professorial chair was passed on to me-to become the first full Professor of Gastroenterology in the Netherlands.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- There are far too many papers that have influenced me. I do recall a long time ago that the first electronmicroscopic pictures of fat absorption fascinated me. That was one of the reasons I went to Seattle to study electronmicroscopy and fat absorption and malabsorption, in addition to studies on celiac disease.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- It is difficult to choose: slowing down the fibrinogen metabolism in cirrhotics with heparin was certainly exciting, but perhaps one of the most important thrills was the discovery, isolation and morphological and biochemical characterization of very low density lipoprotein particles from human small intestinal biopsies.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- Perhaps the biggest mistake was not to have pursued the characterization of the micro-organisms that I had found in gastric biopsies in healthy volunteers at the end of the 1970s - they were not identified microbiologically as H. pylori, but they certainly were!
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- What is your greatest regret?
- How do you relax?
- Music is obviously my passion. I am a true fan of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. At the top of my list is Mahler, Bruckner, Brahms, Schubert and the Russian composers.
- What is your favorite sport?
- What is your best place in the world?
- My favourite Lötschental in Wallis, Switzerland.
- What car do you drive?
- Volkswagen Golf.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- My videocamera.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- The Shadows of the Wind by Zafon.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- Because I do feel that there is room for a successful site on the Web that really provides rapid, interesting and novel information whenever necessary.