Professor Sir John Burn
Professor of Clinical Genetics

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


knighted for services to medicine and healthcare 2010

Present Posts

Professor of Clinical Genetics, Newcastle University

Honorary Consultant Clinical Geneticist, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Lead Clinician NHS North East until March 2013

Chair Genetics Speciality Group, National Institute of Health Resarch 2009-2015

Director of the Collaborative Group on Genetics in Healthcare (NIHR and Dept of Health)2009-2015

Member UK Human Genomics Strategy Group 2010-2012

deputy chair, Scientific Advisory Board, Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD) project, Wellcome Trust, Sanger Institute, Hinxton

co-chair Scientific Advisory Board Human Variome Project and Company Board Member HVP International (Melbourne) a not-for profit holding company. HVP is a recognised NGO of UNESCO

President European Society of Human Genetics, 2006. Board member until 2008 

Chair British Society for Human Genetics (renamed British Society for Genetic Medicine)  2011-13

Medical Director QuantuMDx Ltd Member Health Education England Genomics Strategy Board 2013-

Medical advisor to Genetic Alliance UK (patient support group),Cultural ambassador, Durham County Community Foundation. Chosen by popular vote as one of 20 "local heroes" from the last 60 years to have a brass plaque set into Newcastle Quayside (see pic). One of two from academe, the other being Sir Peter Higgs, Nobel laureate for physics.

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.  Our next major trial will be called CAPP3 and will be a dose inferiority study to determine the optimal dose.  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 imedance changes associated with nucleotide binding.  Our startup company, QuantuMDx Group Limited has received second round funding and now holds a world exclusive licence for any diagnostic use of nanowires, nanotubes or nanoribbons.