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John Atherton is an MRC Senior Clinical Fellow and Reader in Gastroenterology at the University of Nottingham. His research is conducted in the Division of Gastroenterology and the Institute of Infections and Immunity in Nottingham, and his clinical work is at the University Hospital, Nottingham.
Dr Atherton studied pre-clinical medicine at the University of Cambridge and clinical medicine at the University of Oxford. After junior doctor training he researched aspects of Helicobacter pylori diagnosis and treatment, with Robin Spiller and Chris Hawkey in Nottingham, and then H. pylori pathogenesis, with Tim Cover and Martin Blaser in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
After two years in Nashville, Dr Atherton returned to Nottingham to an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship, then a Senior Clinical Fellowship working on basic and clinical aspects of H. pylori pathogenesis. He was recently awarded the Sir Francis Avery Jones Research Medal for this research.
Currently Dr Atherton sits on several Nottingham University and British Society of Gastroenterology Committees, and is an associate editor of the journal Gut.
He is married to Carol Roberts, a community paediatrician, and they have two children.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- Working under Derek Jewell in Oxford.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- David Weatherall.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- If letters are allowed, the pair of letters from Warren and Marshall in the Lancet, which led to the explosion of interest in H. pylori (Lancet 1983; i: 1273-5).
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- The reason for differences in toxin activity between H. pylori strains.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- Stopping skiing holidays after our children were born.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To climb more mountains.
- What is your greatest regret?
- I'm forward-looking - I have no great regrets.
- How do you relax?
- Spending time with my wife and children.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Squash to play; and football (soccer) to watch.
- What is your best place in the world?
- Too many favorites to mention - possibly the Alps.
- What is your favorite film?
- Depends on my mood, but I hate horror and glamorized violence.
- What car do you drive?
- Volvo and VW Golf estates (Stationwagons).
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- My children are teaching me tactics on their Pokemon Gameboy.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- The Pokemon Gameboy instructions!
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- Roy Pounder asked me.