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Professor Sir John Burn

Professor Sir John Burn

Professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle University (BSc Human Genetics 1973, MBBS 1976, MD 1991)

Professor Sir John Burn

Professor Sir John Burn is Professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle University. He graduated from Newcastle University with a first class honours in Human Genetics in 1973 and an MBBS in 1976, and completed an MD in 1991 and then became one of the first clinical geneticists in the UK. He is a former director of, and continues to lead a research team in, the Institute of Genetic Medicine; he is chief investigator of CAPP, the international Cancer Prevention programme and executive director of Global Variome, a registered charity and one of the 62 Non-Governmental Organisations recognised by UNESCO.  Its primary component is the Human Variome Project which is helping to integrate knowledge of genetic variants which predispose to disease.

He led the regional NHS Genetics Service for 20 years and helped to create the Centre for Life, which houses an education and science centre alongside the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Northgene, the identity testing company he launched in 1995 and Newgene Ltd, a commercial genomic diagnostic company he conceived which is now owned by Newcastle Biomedicine. The centre, and its work, has showcased on national television and radio. He chairs Newcastle based DNA device company QuantuMDx which works closely with Newcastle University.

He was knighted in 2010, and chosen as one of the first 20 ‘local heroes’ to have a brass plaque on Newcastle Quayside in 2014 alongside Sting, Sir Bobby Robson and Alan Shearer. He received the Living North award in 2015 for services to the North East 2000 – 2015.

At the end of 2017 Professor Sir John Burn was appointed as the new Chairman of The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is also a Non-Executive Director of NHS England.

Sir John Burn headshot