Dr. Andy Wakefield, MB BS FRCS FRCPath, is an academic gastroenterologist. He graduated in Medicine from St. Mary’s Hospital (part of the University of London) in 1981, pursuing a career in gastrointestinal surgery with a particular interest in inflammatory bowel disease. He qualified as Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1985, and in 1996 was awarded a Wellcome Trust Traveling Fellowship to study small-intestine transplantation in Toronto, Canada.
Discoveries made during his work in Canada led him on return to the UK to pursue the study of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In 1998, he and his colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital in London reported a novel inflammatory bowel disease in children with developmental disorders such as autism; the condition later became known as autistic enterocolitis. Dr. Wakefield resisted pressure to stop his research on the possible links between childhood immunizations, intestinal inflammation and autism, leaving the Royal Free School of Medicine in 2001. He is involved in many scientific research collaborations in the U.S and abroad, investigations centering on the immunologic, metabolic, and pathologic changes occurring in inflammatory bowel diseases such as autistic enterocolitis, links between intestinal disease and neurologic injury in children, and the possible relationship of these conditions to environmental causes, such as childhood vaccines.
During the course of his work on childhood developmental disorders, Dr. Wakefield was increasingly convinced of the need for a research-oriented, integrated bio-medical and educational approach to these disorders, in order to translate clinical benefits for affected children into measurable developmental progress; this is the driving aim of Thoughtful House. As of the beginning of 2007, Dr. Wakefield has published one hundred thirty-four original scientific articles, book chapters, and invited scientific commentaries. He was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2001; he is medical advisor to the United Kingdom charity Visceral, and sits on the board of the U.S. charity Medical Interventions for Autism.