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Chief Executive - Sir John Savill


Professor Sir John Savill BA, MBChB, PhD, FRCP, FRCPE, FASN, FMedSci, FRS, FRSE, a clinician scientist from Edinburgh, took up the position as Chief Executive and Deputy Chair of the Medical Research Council (MRC) on 1 October 2010. The appointment was initially for three years; in March 2013 it was extended for a further year (to 30 September 2014) and in March 2014 it was extended again until 31 March 2016. Sir John was a member of the MRC Council from 2002 to 2008 and chaired two MRC Research Boards during this period.


Between 2008 and 2010 Sir John worked part-time as the chief scientist for the Scottish Government Health Directorates. He was knighted in the 2008 New Year’s Honours List for services to clinical science.


Sir John started his research career with a degree in Physiological Sciences from Oxford University in 1978, followed by degrees in Medicine at the University of Sheffield in 1981. He received a PhD from the University of London in 1989.


After junior hospital appointments in Sheffield, Nottingham and London, he spent seven years in the Department of Medicine at Hammersmith Hospital with spells as an MRC clinical training fellow and Wellcome Trust senior clinical research fellow.


In 1993 he moved to the chair of medicine at the University of Nottingham, then in 1998 became professor of medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where he was the first director of the University of Edinburgh/MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, directing a group interested in the molecular cell biology of renal inflammation.


In 2002, Sir John was appointed as the first vice-principal and head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh. He retains an ongoing, research active involvement with the University of Edinburgh part-time throughout his appointment as MRC Chief Executive.



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