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Professor Paul Ciclitira qualified as a doctor at St Bartholomew’s hospital London, in 1970. He then undertook medical and surgical house officer posts at St Bartholomew’s and Rochford hospital, Essex. Professor Ciclitira subsequently took a junior registrar post on the medical unit at St Bartholomew’s, an SHO post in medical oncology at The Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey, and a medical registrar post at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge. He completed a PhD and MD at the MRC laboratory of molecular biology in Cambridge, before moving to St Thomas’s hospital, London, in 1983 to take a post as senior lecturer in gastroenterology.
Paul Ciclitira was appointed Professor of Gastroenterology at St Thomas’s Hospital in 1994. His main research interests are the investigation of celiac disease, peptic ulcer, and inflammatory bowel disease, the latter focussing on pouchitis.
Professor Ciclitira continues to run a gastroenterology unit on the St. Thomas’s campus of Guy’s, King’s, and St Thomas’s hospitals Medical School.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- The inspiration of the Nobel prizewinner Dr Max Perutz, who was interested in characterization of toxic gluten epitopes in celiac disease.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- Dr E S Lennox at the MRC laboratory of molecular biology, who not only supervised both my MD and PhD theses, but also continues to provide advice on the research program.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- Developing methods of defining the in vivo dose time responses of the small intestinal mucosa in patients with celiac disease, when challenged with gluten and subsequently sequenced gliadin peptides. This has permitted in vivo characterization of celiac toxic cereal epitopes.
My unit is currently employing this information to develop novel cereals with the baking and nutritional qualities of wheat, rye, and barley, but which do not exacerbate celiac disease.
We are also investigating the genetics of the condition; having identified over 200 multiply affected families.
- What is your best place in the world?
- Chelsea’s Arts Club, otherwise known as the club of the Bohemians.
- What car do you drive?
- A convertible E-type Jaguar.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- My mobile phone.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- "A Star called Henry" by Roddy Doyle.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- I suspect that I was invited to join the project because of my long-standing interest in celiac disease. I have recently jointly published the North American guidelines for management of the condition.