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 13 December 2017

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GastroHep.com - the global online resource for all aspects of gastroenterology, hepatology and endoscopy Profile of Roy Pounder

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NikolaiNaoumov

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Nikolai Naoumov is a Reader in Hepatology and Consultant Physician at the Institute of Hepatology, University College London, England.

He graduated from the Medical Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1978.

Dr Naoumov was awarded three Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships at the Liver Unit, King’s College Hospital, London, between 1981 and 1990.

Obtaining his MD in 1985 and DSc in 1991, he went on to become a Member and subsequently a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and the Royal College of Physicians. Dr Naoumov is also a Member of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

From 1991 to 1994, Dr Naoumov was a Member of the Scientific Committee of the European Association for the Study of the Liver. He also served as a Committee Member of the British Association for the Study of the Liver (1998-2001), and was on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Hepatology (1994-1999) and the European Journal of Clinical Investigation (1991-2000).

Dr Naoumov’s research interests are focused on the immunopathogenesis and treatment of viral hepatitis. He heads a research group investigating the mechanisms of virus-host interactions, particularly in chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

He is married to Rossi Naoumova, MRC Senior Clinical Scientist and Consultant Lipidologist at the Hammersmith Hospital and their daughter is reading Medicine at Oxford University.

What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
The Department of Gastroenterology in Sofia, where I started, had particular interests in patients with liver diseases. However, the turning point was in 1981 when I arrived at the Liver Unit at King’s - a remarkable institution and after my first spell there, there was nothing other than hepatology.
Who was the teacher you admired the most?
I have had a number of admirable teachers. Firstly, Roger Williams and Atanas Maleev, from whom I learned Medicine, as well as wisdom in general. Secondly, during my years at the EASL and BASL Committees, I worked with some of the brightest practicing hepatologists. Finally, my collaborators from different parts of the world.
Which research paper influenced you the most?
Frank Chisari’s papers on non-cytolytic control of hepatitis B virus replication, which provided a new way of looking at the immunobiology of HBV infection.
What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
My first paper (Hepatology, 1984) demonstrated in vitro that, in chronic hepatitis B, T-lymphocytes selectively "eliminate" hepatocytes expressing HbcAg. Eighteen years on (Gastroenterology 2002; 122(3): 614-24), we have shown that adoptive transfer of immunity to hepatitis B core antigen is associated with resolution of chronic HBV infection.
What is your unfulfilled ambition?
To be an international footballer, playing for a team that wins the European Champions League Cup.
What is your greatest regret?
I should have learned more languages.
What do you like in research?
I enjoy doing translational research the most – the opportunity to learn about mechanisms of diseases at the bench and to apply this knowledge directly to patients that I see in the clinic. However, the challenge of this is that you are expected to deliver at top level, both scientifically, as well as clinically.
Which is your favorite scientific meeting?
The annual meetings of EASL and AASLD – a stimulating combination of science and meetings with friends with whom, over a drink, one can discuss projects of common interest.
How do you relax?
Opera, playing tennis with my wife, or watching football.
What is your favorite sport?
Football – to watch and to play (previously).
What is your best place in the world?
Christmas at home with my family.
What is your favorite film?
I have seen Ben Hur at least a dozen times, and each time I find a lot of analogies with our contemporary life.
What car do you drive?
BMW – it is the ultimate driving machine indeed.
What is your best electronic 'toy'?
I still prefer paper and pencil.
What book are you reading at the moment?
"On Doctoring", edited by Richard Reynolds and John Stone – an excellent combination of stories, poems, and essays reflecting the wonders of the medical profession.
Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
The enthusiasm of Roy Pounder was contagious, and I was truly amazed by the wealth of information that it offers at your fingertips.

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