John Savill

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Sir John Savill
Born (1957-04-25) 25 April 1957 (age 58)[1]
Fields Medicine
Institutions Hammersmith Hospital
University of Edinburgh
Medical Research Council
University of Oxford
University of Sheffield
Alma mater St Catherine's College, Oxford (undergraduate)[1]
University of Sheffield (MB ChB)
Royal Postgraduate Medical School (PhD)
Thesis Macrophage recognition of senescent neutrophils (1989)
Notable awards Fellow of the Royal Society (2013)
Knight Bachelor (2008)

Sir John Stewart Savill FMedSci (born 25 April 1957) is the Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council in the UK and the Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and a Vice Principal of the University of Edinburgh.[2]


Savill was educated at St Catherine's College, Oxford and the University of Sheffield[1] where he gained his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 1981 Savill was awarded a PhD for his work on macrophages from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in 1989.[3]


Savill is widely known for his research is on apoptosis and immunology.[4][5][6][7]


Savill remains active in acute general medicine and is an Honorary Consultant Physician and Nephrologist with the Lothian University Hospitals Division. He is a member of the Lothian Health Board and chairs its Service Redesign Committee.

Savill has extensive experience in peer review and has a particular interest in research and development, and the career structures necessary for this, having chaired the Academy of Medical Sciences Working Party on Clinical Academic Careers.

He was knighted in the 2008 New Year Honours.[8]

Present roles[edit]

  • Vice Principal and Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh since October 2002.
  • Professor of Experimental Medicine since 1998.
  • Chair of Medicine since 1998
  • Chairman of the Physiological Systems and Clinical Sciences Board of the MRC, and is a full member of the Council itself.
  • Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council UK since 1 October 2010.[9]

Past roles[edit]

  • Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) and University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research, where he continues to direct a group interested in the molecular cell biology of renal inflammation.
  • Professor of Medicine since 1998, a role he vacated in 1998.


John Savill's research interests revolve around the role of cell death and macrophages in resolution and repair of inflammation, especially inflammatory disorders of the kidney glomerulus (glomerulonephritis) and interstitium (tubulointerstitial nephritis).


The group have received grants form the following:

  • Medical Research Council Centre Grant. (Lead applicant with Professors D Harrison, C Haslett, J Lamb and N Turner) for the Edinburgh Centre in Inflammation Research. To August 2005 (£1,518,324).
  • Wellcome Trust Programme Grant. Renewal (first applicant with Dr S Brown) for “Macrophage interaction with cells dying by apoptosis and the regulation of glomerulonephritis”. From Dec 2001 for 5 years (£1,164,526).
  • Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Clinical Science. For Dr Jeremy Hughes to study “Macrophage regulation of tubulointerstitial fate in renal injury and repair”. To July 2005 (£838,538).
  • National Kidney Research Fund Senior Fellowship. For Dr Jeremy Duffield to study “Inhibitory receptor regulation of macrophage-directed glomerular cell death”. To July 2005 (£216,000).
  • Arthritis Research Campaign Clinician Scientist Fellowship. For Dr Mohini Gray to study “Macrophage clearance of apoptotic cells and suppression of proinflammatory cytokine secretion in persistent arthritis”. To May 2006 (£461,557).
  • Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist Fellowship. For Dr Lynda Stuart to study “Defective clearance f dying cells, aberrant dendritic cell maturation and autoimmunity”. From Feb 2004 for 4 years (£437,844).


  1. ^ a b c "SAVILL, Sir John Stewart". Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press. 
  2. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  3. ^ Savill, John (1989). Macrophage recognition of senescent neutrophils (PhD thesis). Royal Postgraduate Medical School. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Savill, J.; Fadok, V.; Henson, P.; Haslett, C. (1993). "Phagocyte recognition of cells undergoing apoptosis". Immunology Today 14 (3): 131–136. doi:10.1016/0167-5699(93)90215-7. PMID 8385467. 
  5. ^ Savill, J.; Dransfield, I.; Gregory, C.; Haslett, C. (2002). "A blast from the past: Clearance of apoptotic cells regulates immune responses". Nature Reviews Immunology 2 (12): 965–975. doi:10.1038/nri957. PMID 12461569. 
  6. ^ Savill, J.; Fadok, V. (2000). "Corpse clearance defines the meaning of cell death". Nature 407 (6805): 784–788. doi:10.1038/35037722. PMID 11048729. 
  7. ^ Savill, J. S.; Wyllie, A. H.; Henson, J. E.; Walport, M. J.; Henson, P. M.; Haslett, C. (1989). "Macrophage phagocytosis of aging neutrophils in inflammation. Programmed cell death in the neutrophil leads to its recognition by macrophages". Journal of Clinical Investigation 83 (3): 865–875. doi:10.1172/JCI113970. PMC 303760. PMID 2921324. 
  8. ^ "Dolly creator heads Scots honours". BBC. 29 December 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "New MRC Chief Executive announced". Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Leszek Borysiewicz
CEO of the Medical Research Council Incumbent