Polar Race 2005

For further information contact:

  Polar Adventures Ltd
  18 Neville Road
  KT1 3QX

Tel: +44 (0)20 8549 1457
Fax: +44 (0)20 8241 7914
Eml: info@polarrace.com

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James Laban

James Laban

Team: Gentlemen Adventurers

HOME:  London, UK
AGE:  29
HEIGHT:  185cm (6'1")
WEIGHT:  75kg (165 lbs)
INTERESTS:  Skiing, Surfing, Kitesurfing, Tennis, Acoustic & Classical Guitar
PRIOR EXPEDITION EXPERIENCE:  Canoeing the Yukon River, wilderness in the Saint Elias mountains (Alaska/Canada), trekking to Machu Picchu, trekking to Annapurna Basecamp
PREVIOUS COLDEST PLACE:  Cordillera Sillajguay Pass (on the border of Bolivia and Chile)
REASON FOR ENTERING RACE:  To raise money for my hospital, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, whilst pushing myself to the limit and enduring the most extreme conditions in the freedom and beauty of arctic wilderness
WEBSITE:  www.justgiving.com/polarrace


Despite being born in London, my pre-school years were spent in Switzerland and Australia - learning to ski and discovering the importance of blue skies and nature at a young age.

I then returned to West London and remained there for all my school days - attending North Ealing, Orley Farm and St. Paul's. I played guitar in a band, and was involved in as many sports as I could - football, tennis, rugby, fencing, rowing, cricket.

After school, I spent a year in Australia during which time, amongst other things, I became a tennis coach, worked on a flower farm, and discovered my love for the wilderness.

I came back to London again to attend Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School (part of Imperial College School of Medicine). I realised I wanted to be a neurosurgeon early on in my medical career. I continued to play sports including captaining the tennis team to UH Cup-winning glory, ski slalom at the Earl's Court Ski Show and hockey. I also, somehow, got involved in stage productions - culminating in directing a large cast in the musical Cabaret.

As a junior doctor, I sought life outside London, my first posts being in Barnstaple (Devon) and Newcastle. However, I, again, gravitated back to London for my surgical training. I have worked at Charing Cross, St. George's, Hammersmith, and the National Hospital. I have also taught anatomy and neuroanatomy to undergraduates at Guy's, King's and St. Thomas' Medical School.

I am currently a clinical fellow in surgical neurointensive care at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.


We are currently seeking corporate sponsorship.


The National Hospital Development Foundation is dedicated to raising funds for the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, which together with the Institute of Neurology, has a worldwide reputation for research and treatment of brain disorders. These include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, dementia, epilepsy, brain and spinal cancer, stroke and head injuries.

Current projects, which are outside National Hospital budgets, include the purchase and installation of an interventional MRI scanner (which allows surgeons to see real-time images of the brain during neurosurgery), the creation of a dementia research centre with its own dedicated MRI scanner, the funding of neuroradiology research and support for multiple sclerosis research.

We hope to raise over £10,000 for the National Hospital Development Foundation.

  National Hospital Development Foundation

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