4 Oct 2012


I learned almost everything about clinical trials from KL during my trainee days.

On average, he spent half a year to write a study protocol. The protocols were down to the finest details. For example, he would obsessively describe where the randomization codes would be kept and who could read the codes. It always amazes me that we are still in the middle of the NSAID No. 8 Study (KL had already been promoted to Chairprofessor after No. 7). To him, a clinical trial is a symphony, not a piece of homework to the Research Grant Council.

Completion of a protocol is just the beginning. Every day, he stayed at the Endoscopy Centre to see trial patients and perform endoscopies. In addition, he would find out every case that should be entered into his trial and remind us not to miss it next time. Remind is a soft word.

At one time, I became his roommate during an American meeting. The No. 7 study had just been completed, and KL was preparing the manuscript. For three days, he sat in front of his laptop without typing a word. I asked what was going on and he said he was thinking how to write the first paragraph of the discussion section. Interested readers may find the final version of this paragraph at Lancet 2007;369:1612-6.

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