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Melvyn Korman is Director of Gastroenterology and a Professor of Medicine at the Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne, Australia. He studied Medicine at Melbourne University and at Prince Henry's Hospital in Melbourne. He trained in gastroenterology and hepatology under Jack Hansky and then at the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA under William Summerskill.
He was involved in the development and application of one of the first radioimmunoassays for the hormone gastrin, and then extended this work at the Mayo Clinic to help develop the initial radioimmunoassay for the measurement of serum bile acids. These assays were used to investigate the pathophysiology of a number of important GI diseases.
Other interests have included the early trials of the clinical efficacy of H2 receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitors, the development of a specialist unit to manage upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and the prevention (methodology) of colorectal cancer.
He has contributed to a number of textbooks and is the lead author in many original publications.
He is married to Judi and they have three children.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- My aim was to be a cardiologist, but soon after passing my physician exams, Jack Hansky gave me the opportunity to work with him on the hormone gastrin and by accident I became a gastroenterologist.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- The inaugural Professor of Medicine at Monash University, Brian Hudson. He had a dynamic personality and taught thoroughness in clinical examination, interest in the personal wellbeing of the patient and always stimulated the desire to further knowledge by clinical and laboratory research.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- The pioneering work of Yalow and Berson in developing the technique of radioimmunoassay and its application in the measurement of small amounts of circulating hormones. (JCI 1960, 39: 1157.)
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- That acid suppression will heal peptic ulcer, with Jack Hansky.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- In not noticing clearly visible Helicobacter pylori organisms in histological sections taken during research in 1970 on the levels of gastrin in patients with chronic gastritis. They are clearly present in photomicrographs published in my 1972 thesis.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To play a round of golf on the Masters at Augusta.
- What is your greatest regret?
- Not buying shares in companies such as Smith/Kline & French, Glaxo and Astra.
- How do you relax?
- Playing golf and watching Australian Rules Football.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Australian Rules Football.
- What is your best place in the world?
- The South of France.
- What is your favorite film?
- Stalag 17.
- What car do you drive?
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- My PC.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- A Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela's autobiography.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- Because I have known Roy Pounder, Peter Cotton and Guido Tytgat for many years.