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ICS Hall of Fame - Derek Griffiths

Monday 02 Mar 2020 {{NI.ViewCount}} Views {{NI.ViewCount}} Views

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This week's hall of fame member is Derek Griffiths.

Name: Derek Griffiths

Profession: Urodynamicist/Physicist

Biography: Derek interest in urodynamics started while he was a lecturer in the Physics Department at the University of Exeter, as a result of a query from an MD at the local hospital about electrical stimulation for stress incontinence. Derek was thus one of around forty people at the first ICS held in Exeter in 1970. In collaboration with a number of doctors, and especially inspired by Patrick Bates, who was working under Dr. Turner-Warwick at the Middlesex Hospital in London, Derek interpreted pressure-flow studies based on novel theories about flow through elastic-walled tubes. These theories were later published in his book “Urodynamics” (1980, republished by ICS in 2015). By this time Derek was working as a senior scientific researcher on theoretical and clinical urodynamics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he benefited from collaborations with a number of valued colleagues. Dr. Gert Holstege, in particular, helped Derek begin to understand the relationship between the brain and the bladder. As a scientist, Derek recognised the importance of standardising the units and terminology, we were using and took an active part in the ICS Standardisation Committee for some years. Having conducted research with children and adults, in 1988 Derek was able to expand his work to include older people, when he was invited to join the University of Alberta, Canada. At that time, Derek started comparing brain scans with the urodynamic findings. Later, with the encouragement of Dr. Peter McCracken, Derek set up the Northern Alberta Continence Service, which provided practical help to those suffering from incontinence and helped educate nurses in this field. In 2000, Derek was pleased to expand my research on brains and bladders under Dr. Neil Resnick, Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, work in which Derek continues to take an interest.

Derek was awarded Honorary Membership at ICS 2015 and has been a major contributor to the ICS over the years. *Extract from ICS History Book - Doug James recalls that Derek used to make cine films for recording the urinary flow in male patients using an 8.5mm movie camera. The film was sent to Kodak for developing. On one occasion a film was returns which was of someone's family outing. The peeing cine film must have come as a surprise to a family sitting down for a night's viewing!!

Which was your first ICS meeting: Exeter, 1st - 5th June 1971

Special ICS memories: At the Paris meeting, one of the more voluble, French-speaking members gave a podium presentation which ran enormously over time. Since he did not respond to bells or verbal pleas to stop, eventually the moderator and one of the audience ran on to the stage, grabbed the speaker by the elbows and dragged him backwards, still speaking, off the stage.

Biggest influence: I would say that it was Patrick Bates, working in Turner Warwick's and Whiteside's group at the Middlesex Hospital, who gave me the opportunity to do ground-breaking clinical research in a (then) neglected field.

The one paper (or book/article/video) you must read/view: Please read the most relevant of the first three ICS standardisation reports.

If you could go back in time what advice would you give to yourself and why: Don't be afraid to try something new!

Do you have any questions for Derek? Let us know!

Put yourself on the road to joining the ICS Hall of Fame - start today

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