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Prof Peter Cotton

Professor of Medicine, Digestive Disease Center
Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC, USA

Peter Cotton graduated in 1963 from Cambridge University and St. Thomas Hospital Medical School (London). He developed the Endoscopy Laboratory at St. Thomas’ Hospital whilst still officially in training, brought ERCP back from Japan in 1971 and named it in 1972. He joined the faculty of the Middlesex Hospital and Medical School (London) as Director of Gastroenterology, where he developed a new department integrating medical and surgical gastroenterology. His group pioneered many diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy procedures, particularly ERCP (sphincterotomy and stenting) and was active in teaching. He attracted postgraduates from many countries, held numerous teaching courses, and pioneered live CCTV workshops. 

Dr Cotton left England in 1986 to become Professor of Medicine and Chief of Endoscopy at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA. He developed a state of the art endoscopy center. He maintained his interests in teaching (mainly through live video courses), new techniques, and careful outcome evaluation. He moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 1994 to initiate the Digestive Disease Center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). The center provides a multidisciplinary environment in which to provide patient-friendly, cost-effective care, and to pursue the research and teaching necessary to enhance it. Dr. Cotton retired from active clinical practice in 2011, and remains at MUSC doing research and teaching. He recently completed a major sham controlled study of sphincterotomy in patients with suspected sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, with game-changing results. 

Dr Cotton has been active in many National and International organizations, and has given invited lectures and demonstrations in over 50 countries. His bibliography includes more than 900 medical publications. “Practical Gastrointestinal Endoscopy” (co-authored by Christopher Williams) is the standard teaching text, currently in its 7th Edition, and has been translated into 8 languages. He also recently published his “endoscopic memoirs” called “The tunnel at the end of the light”, and a series of award-winning illustrated books for children about Fred the friendly snake. 

Peter and Marion Cotton live happily on Dewees Island, South Carolina. They enjoy family, friends, travel, wildlife and golf. More at www.petercottontales.com.

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