UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science


Staff Spotlight - Dr Laurence Lovat

30 May 2014

Laurence Lovat

This month, the spotlight is on Dr Laurence Lovat, Head of the Research Department of Tissue and Energy and Reader in Gastroenterology and Laser Medicine.

What was your first job?

Plumbers assistant.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Lord Sacks, the emeritus Chief Rabbi.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

'Go for it'.

Which languages can you speak fluently?

Hebrew and English, obviously!

Who do you admire as a leader?

Nelson Mandela.

What is your favourite movie of all time?

Finding Nemo.

What is your favourite travel destination and why?

Bournemouth. Sun, sea and sand and no airports!

If you were given £1m what would you spend it on? 

I would ask my wife….

Favourite book?

Lord of the Flies.

Which working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

Creating a patient database for my PhD when databases were brand new. We achieved papers in the Lancet, Gastroenterology and Gut from data we collected. It also led to a whole series of spin-offs which have led to multiple clinical papers over the years.

If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be?

Alexander the Great. He conquered half the world in around 10 years. And people loved him. How do you do that?

Favourite quote/saying?

If I am not for myself, who is for me.  And if I am only for myself, what am I and if not now, when? (Hillel, 2nd century sage).

Work/Life. Balanced?

Sure, with lots of extra weight added to the life side of the scales.

What one word would you use to describe yourself?


What one word would your friends use to describe you?


What would be on the menu for your last supper?

Something light. I wouldn't want to meet God feeling sick. 

If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

Helping others!

Favourite music/musician?

Peter, Paul and Mary – Remember Puff the Magic Dragon?

What will you never do?

Give up hope.

If you could be Prime Minister for a day and could implement one policy, what would it be?

No-one would elect me :-( (well, if you want to, visit my website www.lovatforprimeminister.com).