He was educated at the University of Edinburgh (BSc, 1970) and the University of East Anglia (PhD, 1973). He was Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Bristol from 1984–2005, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor from 2001-2005. He was made a CBE in 1993 and was knighted in 2000.
He lives near Bristol with his wife Sheila and has three sons, David, Richard and Peter.
He is an enthusiastic golfer and enjoys spending time both working on and driving old cars.
- BERINGER, Prof. Sir John (Evelyn), Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2013