David Grimes was born in Salford in 1943, and was raised in Prestwich, north Manchester. His secondary education was at Stand Grammar School in Whitefield, and then at Manchester University. He certified in medicine in 1966, carrying out training posts at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Additional training was at St George's Healthcare facility London as a registrar, going back to Manchester as a senior registrar. In 1977 he was appointed a consultant physician with an unique interest in gastroenterology, at the Blackburn health centers.
His extensive daily clinical practice implied that the wards and the outpatient centers became his focus for research study. This clinical experience together with comprehensive reading and research caused his realisation that vitamin D held the key to understanding many diseases after he understood that his darker skinned and less sun exposed clients were particularly prone to disease. He thinks that the main thing predisposing individuals to severe results when they suffer from infections is vitamin D deficiency. For a thesis based on his research he was awarded the degree of MD University of Manchester in 1993.
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