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Beryllium Zone

Meet the scientists!

My CV

School:

St Johns School, Beverley, Yorkshire (1966-1971); Longcroft Comprehensive School (1971-1978)

University:

For my first degree I studied Biochemistry at Kings College in London and I studied for my PhD at University College, London.

Work History:

I worked at the world famous Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge between 1991 and 1994 and then became a lecturer at University of Southampton

Employer:

Newcastle University

Current Job:

Professor of Hepatology

Photo:

Derek Mann

Favourite Thing: Discover something new that no one knew about before I looked for it.

Me and my work

I am trying to find a cure for liver disease which is now one of the major causes of death . Here are some useful websites for interest:

I am 49 years old (ancient!), married and together with my wife (Jelena who is also a scientist working on liver disease) we have three daughters aged 22, 17 and 15 plus a young son who is 4 years old. My work is exciting and very rewarding as it is aimed at discovering cures for a very serious condition that makes a lot of people of all ages very sick, my team and I have made real progress and are even involved with a clinical trial for a new treatment.

My Typical Day

I have a large research team of around 18 young scientists and most of my day is spent helping them to design ana analyse their experiments, each morning I have a lab meeting with 3-4 scientists where we discuss their work, I then spend the rest of the day looking at data from the lab, writing research papers and research grant applications.

What I'd do with the money

I would use the money to contract visual artists to make an educational cartoon film of how liver disease develops and how we might cure this illness, I would then give lectures that include the film at local schools in Newcastle, in part to educate about the dangers of alcohol and obesity

I provide a general lecture on liver disease to groups of schools in the Newcastle region. I have a closer relationship with one of these schools and recently ran a joint research project where a group[ of 6 students came to the lab on two afternoons to get involved in our experiments! The educational film that I would have made with the money would greatly improve the quality of my presentations at the schools and hopefully help teach young people how it is important to look after your liver by not drinking heavily, eating a healthy diet and taking plenty of exercise.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Bald, Bald, Bald!

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Radiohead and The National

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Holiday at Disney Florida

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

1. Not have a bad ankle. 2. My son Thomas to be captain of Man Utd and England when he grows up. 3. Be happy always

What did you want to be after you left school?

An astronaut!

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Yes, I was in trouble a LOT and have many tales to tell!

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Helping to discover a way in which we might be able to remove scars in people with serious forms of liver disease

Tell us a joke.

Q. What did the fish say when he swam into the wall? A. Dam!