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Nick Wright is a Professor of Histopathology at Imperial College School of Medicine, London, where he is also the Deputy Principal. He studied Medicine at Durham University, and trained in Histopathology at Newcastle and Oxford Universities. He moved to Hammersmith Hospital, London, in 1980 as Chairman of Histopathology, and later became Director of Clinical Research at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, where he also remains as Head of the Histopathology Unit.
His main interests in gastroenterology are in gastrointestinal and liver stem cells; the control of gut growth; the earliest phases of carcinogenesis in the gut; and in mechanisms of mucosal repair and regeneration.
He is married to Vera (Ned) Wright, and they have a son and a daughter.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- Nothing. I am a pathologist with an interest in gastroenterology; such individuals are a growing and superior breed whose influence on gastroenterology is becoming overwhelming.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- Dr A J Watson, Reader in Pathology in the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, who, with Sam Shuster and Janet Marks, described the association of coeliac disease with dermatitis herpetiformis.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- I suppose the two papers by Alan Cairnie, Gordon Steel, and Len Lamerton, on cell proliferation in the rat small intestinal crypt, published back-to-back in 1965: Exp Cell Res 1965 Sep;39(2):528-38; and Exp Cell Res 1965 Sep;39(2):539-53. These, coupled with Hermon Dowling and Chris Booth's articles in Clinical Science 1966-1967, on adaptation, have defined almost all the research problems I have worked on since then (Clin Sci 1967 Feb;32(1):139-49).
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- This changes, as it's always the most recent! At the moment its that bone marrow stem cells can differentiate into liver cells in vivo in humans (Nature 2000;406: 357).
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- Getting involved in trying to keep medical schools afloat, and believing that what I did made a difference (God that sounds depressing).
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To understand what determines cell fate in gastrointestinal stem cells.
- What is your greatest regret?
- That Australia beat England in the 1991 World Cup Final.
- How do you relax?
- I like to watch rugby, cook, and listen to Franz Lehar.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Rugby Football; I am the President of the Imperial College Medical Rugby Club.
- What is your best place in the world?
- Snowshill, Near Broadway, Gloucestershire, where we have a small, repeat small, cottage.
- What is your favorite film?
- Terminator 2.
- What car do you drive?
- A now rather battered Renault Clio.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- Come on, I've only just learned to programme the video machine.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- I'm re-reading"The Affair" by CP. Snow. Its about a miscarriage of justice in a Cambridge college, and seems a good parable for our time.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- It seemed a good idea at the time.