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Z. Ioav Cabantchik
Z. Ioav Cabantchik
Featured Profile
Finbarr Cotter
Finbarr Cotter
British Society of Haematology
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ISSN: 1478-1247



Finbarr Cotter
Professor of Experimental Haematology, Barts and the London School of Medicine, 4 Newark Street, London E1 2AT

Finbarr Cotter

I graduated in medicine from the University of London in 1978, trained in Haematology at the Royal London Hospital and in Oncology at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London.

In 1986 I obtained a PhD molecular biology of lymphoid malignancies, while working for the ICRF.

In 1992 I moved to the Inst of Child Health (University College London) as a senior lecturer and then as a reader in molecular haematology and oncology, where I continued my molecular research into haematological malignancies as part of the Leukaemia Research Fund centre.

My particular emphasis has been on the application of molecular understanding and therapy for malignancy. In 1999, I moved my research group to St Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine to continue my work on molecular therapy.

I am currently the Editor for the British Journal of Haematology and have worked hard (an enjoyable experience) with Blackwells to get this website up and running.

My current resarch interests include functional genomics and proteomics for B-cell malignancies, myelodysplasia and molecular therapy. One of my main aims is to bring through young haematologists in a fun way to be our researchers for the future.

Why did you go into hematology?

By accident. I was given an offer I could not refuse.

Who or what has most inspired you in your work?

There have been a number of influences. The first is Brother Eugene my American headmaster who beat me constantly and made me aware you cannot put a good man down.

The second wave includes Nick Wright at ICRF, Roland Levinski, and Terry Rabbits all of whom inspired me to follow my soul and enjoy scientifc research when most others did not. I hope I can be as encouraging to those trying to do the same.

Which scientific papers have made a great impression on you?

The Watson and Crick paper in Nature describing the structure of DNA. 1000 words is all that is need for a pivotal discovery.

What is the most important lesson you've learnt in your professional life?

Always listen, always keep talking, and be self critical.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Playing the french horn with Barry Tuckwell.

From a medical view point, taking an idea (Bcl-2 antisense) from a research concept to a drug that has improved cancer therapy .

What are the best and worst aspects of your job?

The best: The buzz. It is fun coming to work. The worst not being able to do much bench work and miss out on those "moments of truth". Eureka!!

When or where are you happiest?

The where is less important. The people are essential. My family has to be top and a very close second is playing music with others. I would love to be a good Jazz trumpeter.

What do you do to relax?

Play music with my children or others, watch London Irish or West Ham  and try and play golf (usually badly)

What book are you reading at the moment?

Facing up by Bear Gryls. It is about climbing Everest. It makes you wonder why anyone wants to do it.

What's your most evocative piece of music?

Brahms 4th Symphony. It has some great horn parts. The sound is beautiful.

What's your favorite film?

Any James Bond film. Very difficult to beat.

What are your hobbies?

I am not too sure what a hobby is. I do like reading a good novel.

What car do you drive?

A Kuboto B1275 tractor with a front and back bucket. My best buy ever.

What are your unfulfilled ambitions?

To play good Jazz trumpet.

How would you like to be remembered?

As an enthusiast and someone who helped others, particularly those starting up, to find the same enthusiasm for science and life.

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