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Richard Logan has been Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham since 1997.
After doing his medical undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University, he trained in gastroenterology in Scotland with the late Anne Ferguson, Niall Finlayson, and Bill Sircus among others.
Being a member of an MRC birth cohort study, along with a year's schooling in the USA, as well as having a father in academic public health, led to an interest in epidemiology. A Wellcome Research Fellowship afforded the opportunity for him to train in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with Geoffrey Rose, before moving to Nottingham in 1982 to work with Michael Langman.
His research broadly concerns the application of epidemiological methods to problems in gastrointestinal disease, and currently involves research in celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and the use of aspirin to prevent colorectal neoplasia. Like the Editor-in-Chief, Roy Pounder, he is married to a hematologist, and they have two daughters studying medicine, and a son who is determined not to.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- Serendipity. My first interest was in diabetes and endocrinology, but was turned down by the program director. I was then offered a research post funded by SmithKline and French to do clinical studies on a new drug called Metiamide, and then Cimetidine
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- The epidemiologist Geoffrey Rose was undoubtedly the most inspiring and charismatic of classroom teachers, while I admired Anne Ferguson for her ability to enthuse, while offering constructive criticism.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- If Sir James Black's work on H2 -antagonists (Nature 1972; 236 (5347): 385-90 ) had not been so convincing, I doubt whether I would have taken up the research post I was offered, and probably would not have become a gastroenterologist.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- Being the first to show that smoking was associated with Crohn's disease, and that this was likely to be a causal relationship.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- I'm not into public confessions!
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- After skiing the couloirs at Courchevel, finding the other causes of inflammatory bowel disease.
- How do you relax?
- Playing squash - followed by a few beers.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Skiing when I can, and when I can't - squash.
- What is your greatest regret?
- Not being able to do either of the above better.
- What is your best place in the world?
- Until we have our own alpine chalet, I'll settle for looking down the Sound on the Hebridean Island of Seil, on the West Coast of Scotland.
- What is your favorite film?
- Since a holiday in Kenya, "Out of Africa", for the scenery and music.
- What car do you drive?
- A rather boring Honda Accord, but I'm not safe in my wife's new VW Golf GTi.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- Using the laptop to do PowerPoint presentations. For an obsessive, it's such a relief not to be troubled with making and re-making slides.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- Novels get started on holiday and finished months later. The last was J M Coetzee's "Disgrace".
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- Roy is very persuasive, and I didn't want to miss out on the fun!