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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Professor Sir John Burn Kt MD FRCP FRCPE FRCPCH FRCOG FMedSci


Professor of Clinical Genetics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Sir John was knighted in the 2010 New Year's Honours list for services to Medicine and Healthcare.  He became Director of the Institute of Human Genetics (IHG) from 2005-10 during which time the tenured staff rose to 33, 18 of them professors, and a 3rd place behind Oxford and Cambridge for Quality in the 2008 Research Assessment. He conceived and helped bring to fruition the Millennium Landmark Centre for Life in Newcastle opened by the Queen in 2000.  In addition to housing the IHG and the region's Fertility and Genetics services, the Centre attracts a quarter of a million paying visitors to its science centre and provides practical science education to 40,000 schoolchildren per annum.  In 2008 he was appointed chair of the newly created Clinical Genetics Specialty Group of the National Institute of Health Research.  In 2009 he became Director of the national Collaborative group on Genetics in Healthcare and Lead Clinician for the NHS in the North East of England.  In 2010 he was appointed to chair the Innovation strand of the new UK Human Genomics Steering Group. He is Chair of the British Society for Human Genetics. Extensive media involvement includes being scientific advisor and participant in the BBC/Discovery series How to Build a Human in 2001. Sir John is an author on over 250 peer reviewed articles.  He leads the international CAPP consortium which reported recently the discovery that regular aspirin reduces hereditary cancer risk by over 60% (Burn et al Lancet 2012; 378:2081-7)