19 March 2012
Venue: Perrin Lecture Theatre, Blizard Building, Newark Street, Whitechapel, London, E1 2AT
The accidental neurophysiologist
Clinical Professor of Surgical Research
Despite efforts to avoid it, Professor Knowles' academic career from Cambridge University undergraduate days onwards has been inexplicably drawn towards neurophysiology. This lecture charts the series of unfortunate co-incidences that have led to the reluctant acceptance that one day, even as a surgeon, he will have to try and understand nerve membrane conductance and patch clamping.
Professor Knowles undertook his preclinical training at Cambridge University and then moved to the London Hospital Medical College, qualifying in 1992. Prior to specialist training, he undertook research related to chronic constipation based at Barts & the London and, funded by the Royal College of Surgeons of England, leading to the degree of PhD at the University of London in 2000. He entered the Specialist Register in 2005 as a general and colorectal surgeon. In 2006, he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Colorectal Surgery on the basis of a prestigious award from HEFCE, partnered by an Honorary Consultant appointment at Barts and the London Trust; he was promoted in 2011 to the post of Clinical Professor of Surgical Research. His main clinical interests are in the surgical management of benign coloproctological conditions and severe motility disorders including the use of neurostimulation. His main research interests are (1) the patho-aetiology of gastrointestinal neuromuscular diseases; (2) the molecular basis of gut sensorimotor dysfunction, particularly in relation to abdominal pain; (3) the role of colorectal physiological tests in guiding therapy in conditions
such as constipation and faecal incontinence (especially focusing on neuromodulation).
Prof Knowles is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Chairman of the Whitechapel Society for Gastroenterological Research, Research lead of the Neurogastroenterology Section of the British Society of Gastroenterology, Deputy Clinical Director of the NHS Bowel Healthcare Technology Cooperative and Chair of the GI neuromuscular pathology international working group. He is the author of over 80 peer reviewed publications and 5 books.