Professor Sir John Burn
Professor of Clinical Genetics

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 241 8734
  • Personal Website:
  • Address: Institute of Genetic Medicine
    International Centre for Life
    Central Parkway
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 3BZ

Professor of Clinical Genetics, Newcastle University

Knighted for services to Medicine and Healthcare in 2010

Chief Investigator of the International Cancer Prevention Programme (CAPP)

Honorary Consultant Clinical Geneticist, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Lead Clinician NHS North East until March 2013

Non-executive director to NHS England and Deputy Chair to the Specialist Commissioning Committee of NHS England

Chair to Genetics Speciality Group, (NIHR and Dept of Health)

Director of the Collaborative Group on Genetics in Healthcare (NIHR and Dept of Health)

Co-Chair to the UK Rare Diseases Register and Genomics Databases Advisory Group (Dept of Health)

Co-Chair, Scientific Advisory Board to the Human Variome Project and Company Board Member of HVP International (Melbourne) a not-for profit holding company. HVP is a recognised NGO of UNESCO

Co-chair to the BRCA Challenge of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH)

Chairman of QuantuMDx Ltd 

Medical Director of Northgene

Member to Genomics England (Science Committee), DDD Project (Steering Committee), Health Education England (Sanger Centre Genomics Committee) and National Institute Cancer Research (Prevention Committee)

Chosen by the people of Newcastle to be one of 20 “local heroes” from the last 60 years to be recognized with a brass plaque on Newcastle Quayside

PA: Amy McAllister or 0191 241 8794

I now have two major areas of research:  The CAPP programme has now succeeded in establishing that aspirin significantly reduces the risk of cancer in people with Lynch syndrome, the major form of hereditary colorectal cancer.  We are now poised to transform the clinical management of cancer in all people with a family history. The CaPP3 trial, a dose non-inferiority study to determine the optimal dose of aspirin for cancer chemoprevention in Lynch Syndrome, is now open and recruiting. We are also exploring the development of a cell based vaccine focused on the frameshift proteins resulting from slippage in microsatellites in these tumours.

The second major direction will be to develop a new technology in genotyping and gene sequencing using the concept of using nanowires to detect the electrical impedance changes associated with nucleotide binding.  Our start-up company, QuantuMDx Ltd has received second round funding and now holds a world exclusive licence for any diagnostic use of nanowires, nanotubes or nanoribbons. 

  • Burn J. Alison's Story - A Cautionary Tale in the Age of Genomic Medicine. Surgical Oncology Clinics of North America 2015, 24(4), 635-637.
  • Lawler M, Siu LL, Rehm HL, Chanock SJ, Alterovitz G, Burn J, Calvo F, Lacombe D, Teh BT, North KN, Sawyers CL, Global Alliance Genomics Hlth GA4G. All the World's a Stage: Facilitating Discovery Science and Improved Cancer Care through the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health. Cancer Discovery 2015, 5(11), 1133-1136.
  • Moller P, Seppala T, Bernstein I, HolinskiFeder E, Sala P, Evans D, Lindblom A, Macrae F, Blanco I, Sijmons R, Jeffries J, Vasen H, Burn J, Nakken S, Hovig E, Rodland E, Tharmaratnam K, de Vos Tot Nederveen Cappel W, Hill J, Wijnen J, Green K, Lalloo F, Sunde L, Mints M, Bertario L, Pineda M, Navarro M, Morak M, RenkonenSinisalo L, Frayling I, Plazzer J, Pylvanainen K, Sampson J, Capella G, Mecklin J, Moslein G. Cancer incidence and survival in Lynch syndrome patients receiving colonoscopic and gynaecological surveillance: first report from the prospective Lynch syndrome database. Gut 2015, (Online first).
  • Burn J. Could aspirin reverse increased cancer risk in overweight people?. The Conversation Trust (UK) Limited, 2015. Available at:
  • Cuzick J, Thorat MA, Bosetti C, Brown PH, Burn J, Cook NR, Ford LG, Jacobs EJ, Jankowski JA, La Vecchia C, Law M, Meyskens F, Rothwell PM, Senn HJ, Umar A. Estimates of benefits and harms of prophylactic use of aspirin in the general population. Annals of Oncology 2015, 26(1), 47-57.
  • Wright CF, Fitzgerald TW, Jones WD, Clayton S, McRae JF, van Kogelenberg M, King DA, Ambridge K, Barrett DM, Bayzetinova T, Bevan AP, Bragin E, Chatzimichali EA, Gribble S, Jones P, Krishnappa N, Mason LE, Miller R, Morley KI, Parthiban V, Prigmore E, Rajan D, Sifrim A, Swaminathan GJ, Tivey AR, Middleton A, Parker M, Carter NP, Barrett JC, Hurles ME, Fitzpatrick DR, Firth HV, DDD study. Genetic diagnosis of developmental disorders in the DDD study: a scalable analysis of genome-wide research data. The Lancet 2015, 385(9975), 1305-1314.
  • Fitzgerald TW, Gerety SS, Jones WD, van Kogelenberg M, King DA, McRae J, Morley KI, Parthiban V, Al-Turki S, Ambridge K, Barrett DM, Bayzetinova T, Clayton S, Coomber EL, Gribble S, Jones P, Krishnappa N, Mason LE, Middleton A, Miller R, Prigmore E, Rajan D, Sifrim A, Tivey AR, Ahmed M, Akawi N, Andrews R, Anjum U, Archer H, Armstrong R, Balasubramanian M, Banerjee R, Baralle D, Batstone P, Baty D, Bennett C, Berg J, Bernhard B, Bevan AP, Blair E, Blyth M, Bohanna D, Bourdon L, Bourn D, Brady A, Bragin E, Brewer C, Brueton L, Brunstrom K, Bumpstead SJ, Bunyan DJ, Burn J, Burton J, Canham N, Castle B, Chandler K, Clasper S, Clayton-Smith J, Cole T, Collins A, Collinson MN, Connell F, Cooper N, Cox H, Cresswell L, Cross G, Crow Y, D'Alessandro M, Dabir T, Davidson R, Davies S, Dean J, Deshpande C, Devlin G, Dixit A, Dominiczak A, Donnelly C, Donnelly D, Douglas A, Duncan A, Eason J, Edkins S, Ellard S, Ellis P, Elmslie F, Evans K, Everest S, Fendick T, Fisher R, Flinter F, Foulds N, Fryer A, Fu B, Gardiner C, Gaunt L, Ghali N, Gibbons R, Pereira SLG, Goodship J, Goudie D, Gray E, Greene P, Greenhalgh L, Harrison L, Hawkins R, Hellens S, Henderson A, Hobson E, Holden S, Holder S, Hollingsworth G, Homfray T, Humphreys M, Hurst J, Ingram S, Irving M, Jarvis J, Jenkins L, Johnson D, Jones D, Jones E, Josifova D, Joss S, Kaemba B, Kazembe S, Kerr B, Kini U, Kinning E, Kirby G, Kirk C, Kivuva E, Kraus A, Kumar D, Lachlan K, Lam W, Lampe A, Langman C, Lees M, Lim D, Lowther G, Lynch SA, Magee A, Maher E, Mansour S, Marks K, Martin K, Maye U, McCann E, McConnell V, McEntagart M, McGowan R, McKay K, McKee S, McMullan DJ, McNerlan S, Mehta S, Metcalfe K, Miles E, Mohammed S, Montgomery T, Moore D, Morgan S, Morris A, Morton J, Mugalaasi H, Murday V, Nevitt L, Newbury-Ecob R, Norman A, O'Shea R, Ogilvie C, Park S, Parker MJ, Patel C, Paterson J, Payne S, Phipps J, Pilz DT, Porteous D, Pratt N, Prescott K, Price S, Pridham A, Procter A, Purnell H, Ragge N, Rankin J, Raymond L, Rice D, Robert L, Roberts E, Roberts G, Roberts J, Roberts P, Ross A, Rosser E, Saggar A, Samant S, Sandford R, Sarkar A, Schweier S, Scott C, Scott R, Selby A, Seller A, Sequeira C, Shannon N, Shanrif S, Shaw-Smith C, Shearing E, Shears D, Simonic I, Simpkin D, Singzon R, Skitt Z, Smith A, Smith B, Smith K, Smithson S, Sneddon L, Splitt M, Squires M, Stewart F, Stewart H, Suri M, Sutton V, Swaminathan GJ, Sweeney E, Tatton-Brown K, Taylor C, Taylor R, Tei M, Temple IK, Thomson J, Tolmie J, Torokwa A, Treacy B, Turner C, Turnpenny P, Tysoe C, Vandersteen A, Vasudevan P, Vogt J, Wakeling E, Walker D, Waters J, Weber A, Wellesley D, Whiteford M, Widaa S, Wilcox S, Williams D, Williams N, Woods G, Wragg C, Wright M, Yang F, Yau M, Carter NP, Parker M, Firth HV, FitzPatrick DR, Wright CF, Barrett JC, Hurles ME, Deciphering Dev Disorders Study. Large-scale discovery of novel genetic causes of developmental disorders. Nature 2015, 519(7542), 223-228.
  • Deciphering Developmental Disorders Study. Large-scale discovery of novel genetic causes of developmental disorders. Nature 2015, 519(7542), 223-228.
  • Movahedi M, Bishop DT, Macrae F, Mecklin JP, Moeslein G, Olschwang S, Eccles D, Evans DG, Maher ER, Bertario L, Bisgaard ML, Dunlop MG, Ho JWC, Hodgson SV, Lindblom A, Lubinski J, Morrison PJ, Murday V, Ramesar RS, Side L, Scott RJ, Thomas HJW, Vasen HF, Burn J, Mathers JC. Obesity, Aspirin, and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Carriers of Hereditary Colorectal Cancer: A Prospective Investigation in the CAPP2 Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2015, 33(31), 3591-3597.
  • Burn J. Affordable diagnosis and prevention of genetic disease. In: International Conference on Human Genetics and 39th Annual Meeting of Indian Society of Human Genetics. 2014, Ahmedabad, India: BioMed Central Ltd.
  • Wieczorek D, Newman WG, Wieland T, Berulava T, Kaffe M, Falkenstein D, Beetz C, Graf E, Schwarzmayr T, Douzgou S, Clayton-Smith J, Daly SB, Williams SG, Bhaskar SS, Urquhart JE, Anderson B, O'Sullivan J, Boute O, Gundlach J, Czeschik JC, van Essen AJ, Hazan F, Park S, Hing A, Kuechler A, Lohmann DR, Ludwig KU, Mangold E, Steenpass L, Zeschnigk M, Lemke JR, Lourenco CM, Hehr U, Prott EC, Waldenberger M, Bohmer AC, Horsthemke B, O'Keefe RT, Meitinger T, Burn J, Luedecke HJ, Strom TM. Compound Heterozygosity of Low-Frequency Promoter Deletions and Rare Loss-of-Function Mutations in TXNL4A Causes Burn-McKeown Syndrome. American Journal of Human Genetics 2014, 95(6), 698-707.
  • Burn J. Neuroferritinopathy: iron in the brain. In: International Conference on Human Genetics and 39th Annual Meeting of the Indian Society of Human Genetics (ISHG). 2014, Ahmedabad, India: BioMed Central Ltd.
  • Sheth H, Northwood E, Elliott F, Jackson M, Koref MS, Tyson J, Daly A, O'Halloran J, Sheth J, Sheth F, Parikh K, Bishop DT, Burn J. Point of care testing for improving risk- benefit ratio of aspirin and warfarin. Molecular Cytogenetics 2014, 7(Suppl 1:154).
  • Dhanoya T, Burn J. Colon cancer and Salicylates. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health 2016, 2016(1), 146-147.
  • Burn J, Watson M. The Human Variome Project. Human Mutation 2016, 37(6), 505-507.