Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Professor Sir John Burn

Professor of Clinical Genetics


Professor of Clinical Genetics, Newcastle University

Chairman, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Knighted for services to Medicine and Healthcare in 2010

Chief Investigator of the International Cancer Prevention Programme (CAPP)

Director of the Collaborative Group on Genetics in Healthcare, NIHR CRN Genetics Speciality (Dept of Health)

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

Co-Chair of the International Scientific Advisory Committee to the Human Variome Project and Executive Chairman/ Director/ Company Board Member of the non-for profit holding company, Global Variome Ltd (Newcastle, UK). HVP/GV is a recognised NGO of UNESCO.

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

Chairman of QuantuMDx Group Ltd - 

Medical Director of Northgene Ltd

Member to Genomics England (Science Committee), DDD Project (Steering Committee), Transforming Genetic Medicine Initiative (Wellcome Trust Steering Committee), Health Education England (Sanger Centre Genomics Committee), Bowel Cancer UK and National Institute Cancer Research (Prevention Committee)


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.