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Duncan Bell


  • 3.04 Sciences

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Personal profile


From 1983 until March 1997 he was Consultant Physician/Gastroenterologist to the Ipswich Hospital. While at the Ipswich hospital he was twice (1989 and1995) awarded the BSG Hopkins Endoscopy Prize. He was made a Royal College of Surgeons Hunterian Professor in 1990 for his work on endoscopic safety, sedation and monitoring. He co-invented the oxygenating mouthguard, the 14C-urea breath test and the magnetic endoscope imaging system. He worked closely with BT ( Prof Peter Cochrane) at Martlesham on tele-medical systems.His Unit won the 1994 Hospital Doctor Gastroenterology 'Team of the Year' Award. He chaired the BSG Committee on Sedation and Monitoring and later chaired a Working Party looking at Informed Consent. He is a regular reviewer for several international journals and has himself over 250 publications (including over 100 peer reviewed original papers) on such diverse topics as biliary lipids, gallstone dissolution therapy, hepatic drug metabolism, monoterpenes, atheroma, IBS, Helicobacter pylori, Telemedicine, magnetic endoscope imaging as well as IV sedation and safety during endoscopy.

From April 1997 - June 2002 he worked as a Gastroenterologist at the Sunderland Royal Hospital (SRH) and was a visiting professor in the Medical Sciences Faculty of Sunderland University from 1997-2002. He won the BSG 2001 Hopkins Endoscopy Prize for his work on colonoscopy and magnetic imaging.

He moved back to East Anglia in the summer of 2002 and is now an honorary Professor within UEA's School of Computing Sciences. He continues to carry out four fixed NHS clinical sessions per week (in both Ipswich and Norwich). Recently the Endoscopy unit at the N&N University Hospital has been designated by the Royal College of Surgeons of England as a endoscopic 'centre of excellence' for teaching endoscopic skills. Duncan has been invited to be the local convenor for the basic colonoscopy skills course.

Academic Background

Duncan Bell MRCS MD MSc FRCP(Lond & Edin) trained at Barts qualifying with double honours in the London MB BS finals in 1968. The same year he obtained his MRCS LRCP. He passed his MRCP(UK) in 1970. He did his House Physician and SHO posts at Barts, the Brompton and RPGMS at Hammersmith followed by a 3 year research registrar appointment with Professor Hermon Dowling. While at the RPGMS he obtained an MSc in biochemistry as well as conducting some of the early work on gallstone dissolution using chenodeoxcholic acid. He was a Lecturer in Medicine/Hon Senior Registrar at St Bartholomews Hospital with Sir Anthony Dawson from 1974-1976. In 1976 he obtained his MD by thesis and the same year joined Professor Michael Langman in Nottingham as a Senior Lecturer in Therapeutics.

Key Research Interests

He maintains research links with British Telecom and is currently a visiting professor in a) the School of Computer Science and Technology at Sunderland University and b) the School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of Newcastle.