Of all the job titles Simon Wessely thought he might hold in his life, researcher ranked among the least likely. He wanted to be a physician. "I certainly didn't see myself in a laboratory," Wessely says. So the Sheffield, England native collected the necessary degrees, but wasn't in practice long before he realized he found general medicine unchallenging. Wessely moved on to psychiatry and in time found his true niche.

In one of life's delicious little twists, Wessely is today considered one of the leading researchers on Gulf War syndrome. His studies on scores of veterans reveal that fighting in the Gulf did affect their health, causing still undefined ailments, and that multiple vaccinations play at least a small role in their infirmities. His findings have forced governments and the medical community to re-evaluate treatment of Gulf War veterans. "We haven't found the smoking gun and I don't think we...

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