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George Webster graduated from the Royal Free Hospital Medical School, London, England, in 1991.
He was appointed as a specialist registrar in gastroenterology in 1995, after completing his general professional training at the Hammersmith, Royal Brompton, and Whittington hospitals.
Following experience in clinical gastroenterology, hepatology, and liver transplantation, he undertook a research fellowship with Professor Geoff Dusheiko, at the Royal Free.
The identification of a large single-source outbreak of hepatitis B, including patients prior to the onset of jaundice, provided a unique opportunity to study the immunopathology of HBV infection from the incubation phase of disease. Dr Webster conducted this research with Dr Antonio Bertoletti in the Institute of Hepatology, University College London.
The work has since been extended to the study of host anti-viral immunity in chronic HBV infection, and in response to treatment.
Dr Webster is presently a senior specialist registrar at the Middlesex Hospital in London. Here he works in hepatology with Professor Roger Williams and in pancreaticobiliary medicine with Dr Adrian Hatfield.
He plans to take up a clinical fellowship in Sydney prior to completing his training program in 2003.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- A belief that it required a good mixture of brain and brawn - the intellectual challenge of dealing with a wide range of potential problems and diagnoses. In addition, there is the parallel satisfaction of applying a large array of technical interventions, within a broad multidisciplinary framework, to diagnosis and treatment.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- My father, from whom I learnt that, in clinical medicine (and perhaps in life!), the one thing that requires more skill than knowing how to do something is the knowledge of when to do it.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- Guidotti et al. Science 1999; 284(5415): 825-9, who studied, in an experimental model of HBV infection, the critical relationships between viral replication, liver injury, and host immunity during the incubation phase of disease. It was fascinating to compare our findings from patients with this work.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- You are most likely to be good at what you enjoy.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- Almost certainly the ones that I never recognized, and so had no chance to correct.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- After years of training, and a consultant job not too far off (hopefully!), the answer is too boringly predictable!
- How do you relax?
- Evenings out with my wife, mornings in with my kids. And cabinet making.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Squash and fly fishing.
- What is your best place in the world?
- River Test, Leckford, Hampshire.
- What is your favorite film?
- "The Truman Show".
- What car do you drive?
- I don’t. I have a Piaggio Vespa ET4. The only way to get around London!
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- Palm Pilot m505, but, like most toys, probably soon to break or be relegated to the back of a cupboard!
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- "Stalingrad", by Antony Beevor.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- The persistence and charm of Roy Pounder’s research fellow, Jo Puleston, proved too persuasive!