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Constantine Arvanitakis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1939 and studied at the American Anatolia College. He graduated from the Medical School at the University of Thessaloniki in 1965.
He was trained in Internal Medicine in the UK between 1967 and 1970. He then continued with a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA (1970-1973).
In 1973 Constantine Arvanitakis was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Kansas, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1974.
He was awarded an MD by thesis from the University of Thessaloniki in 1976.
In 1980 he was appointed Associate Professor at the University of Thessaloniki, and then Full Professor in 1996. He was also made Chairman of the Fourth Department of Medicine in 1997.
The American Board of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and the Hellenic Board of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology have certified Professor Arvanitakis.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians.
Professor Arvanitakis has served as President of the European and Mediterranean Association of National Societies of Gastroenterology (1992-1997), the European Pancreatic Club (1998), and the Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology (1996). He has also been Chairman of the United European Gastroenterology Federation (1998).
He is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Physiological Society, the Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology, and the Gastroenterology Section and Board of the European Union of Medical Specialists.
He has also been the President of a number of congresses.
He has served as a member of the Editorial Board of Gut, Hepatogastroenterology. Gastroenterology International, Annals of Gastroenterology, World Journal of Gastroenterology, and Digestive and Liver Disease.
Professor Arvanitakis’ main research interests are in pancreatic physiology and disease, intestinal absorption, and drug effects on gastrointestinal mucosa.
He has published over 150 papers, and has contributed as co-author in books and chapters.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- The specialty appealed as an intellectual and scientific pursuit. The ability of being able to apply a wide spectrum of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures was also attractive.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- My teacher and mentor in research was Professor Ward Olsen, who was Chief of Gastroenterology at the University of Wisconsin, where I was trained. He was the person who initiated me to the scientific discipline of gastrointestinal research, in the area of intestinal absorption.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- The paper by Sir James Black and coworkers (Nature 1972; 236 (5347): 385-90) in 1972 on H2 receptor antagonists, which was seminal work, ushering the new era in GI pharmacology.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- The mechanism of the intestinal hypoglycemic effect of aspirin. This drug acts as a metabolic inhibitor on the small intestine, affecting mitochondrial metabolism.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- The unfortunate referral of a renowned patient for colorectal surgery.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To write a bestseller book in gastroenterology.
- What is your greatest regret?
- Not to have devoted all my energy and abilities to research.
- How do you relax?
- Reading, and listening to classical and ethnic music.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Walking in the woods.
- What is your best place in the world?
- Brittany, France.
- What is your favorite film?
- "On the Waterfront" by Elia Kazan, with Marlon Brando.
- What car do you drive?
- A Toyota Yaris (1300 cc).
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- Record player and CD player.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- "La cord et les souris", from Le Mirror de Limbes II, and "Le Musée Imaginaire" by André Malraux - one of my heroes.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- Roy Pounder persuaded me.