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Anders Ekbom was born in Stockholm 1947. Left high school at the age of 18 for an extended period in the army (Royal Engineers), which was followed by an even more extended period at Lund University, Sweden. This included all faculties with the exception of Theology. Being bullied by fellow students, nurses and teachers during his surgical rotation because he could not open a clamp with his left hand, he decided to become a surgeon just to show them.
After 15 years in surgery, mainly gastrointestinal, both upper and lower GI, he also became interested in epidemiology through professor Hans-Olov Adami. This pathway lead to a one-year stay at CDC, Atlanta. After returning to Sweden, he landed a research position paid by the Swedish Cancer Society, and became a self-proclaimed epidemiologist. In 1999 he was elevated to the position of professor in epidemiology at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and he still does not know what he will do when he grows up.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- The association with my two mentors during my early career as a surgeon, Drs Gustav Liedberg and Torsten Holmin, great gastroenterology surgeons and humans.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- My teacher in history in high school, Tom Söderberg, who convinced me and my fellow classmates that there are at least two ways of looking at anything.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- Sir Richard Dolls early papers on smoking and lung cancer.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- That males have a predominance for left-sided breast cancer similar to that for females, seemingly ruling out lactation as a determinant.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- I did not become politically active in the end of the 1980's when the Swedish government started to cut health expenditures.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To learn French.
- What is your greatest regret?
- That I left politics after university.
- How do you relax?
- Socializing and reading.
- What is your favorite sport?
- What is your best place in the world?
- The island Öland in the south of Sweden.
- What is your favorite film?
- Dr Strangelove.
- What car do you drive?
- Saab, 1986 model, 300 000 kilometers, still ticking.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- The remote control for TV.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- Galileo's daughter by Dava Sobel.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- Because Roy Pounder asked me.