Professor Sir John Savill

Doctor of Science, Thursday 19 July at 3pm


Professor Sir John Stewart Savill, FRS, FMedSci began his education at the Thames Valley Grammar School in Twickenham. He progressed to St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford where he gained a first class honours degree and went on to complete his medical degree at Sheffield University Medical School, leaving with honours and three distinctions.

In October 2010, Savill was appointed CEO and Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council (MRC) in the UK. Within this role he was responsible to UK Parliament for expenditure of around £800M per year as MRC’s Accounting Officer. Savill was a member of the Research Councils UK Strategic Executive (attended by all seven Research Council CEOs), sat on the OSCHR Board and served on a High Level Group for the European Commission Research Directorate, planning Horizon 2020.

Alongside the MRC role, Savill was also Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Medicine & Veterinary Science at the University of Edinburgh. As of April 2018, he was appointed Regius Professor of Medical Science at the University of Edinburgh. He was awarded the appointment by the Queen, who gave royal assent on 7 April 2017, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to medical research. The role provides strategic leadership in research, innovation and relevant career development. Savill continues to pursue research interests in control of inflammation, leading a small MRC-funded group in the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research.

Savill has a keen interest in hockey and cricket and in 2016 he joined the Board of Trustees for the charity Chance to Shine, which is introducing cricket to primary schools as a means of promoting activity and interest in the game.

Press comment

“It is a great honour to join the vibrant medical science community at the University of Leicester, where so much excellent medical research has improved human health.”

Video of Professor Sir John Savill's oration and response

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