John Savill

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Sir John Savill
Born John Stewart Savill
(1957-04-25) 25 April 1957 (age 60)[1]
Fields Medicine
Institutions Hammersmith Hospital
University of Edinburgh
Medical Research Council
University of Oxford
University of Sheffield
Alma mater University of Oxford (BA)[1]
University of Sheffield (MB ChB)
Royal Postgraduate Medical School (PhD)
Thesis Macrophage recognition of senescent neutrophils (1989)
Notable awards

Sir John Stewart Savill FMedSci FRS[2] (born 25 April 1957)[1] is the Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council (MRC) in the UK and the Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and a Vice Principal of the University of Edinburgh.[3]


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.[4]

Research and career[edit]

Savill is widely known for his research is on apoptosis and immunology.[5][6][7][8] As of 2016 Savill is 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.

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).


Savill's 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).[citation needed]
  • 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).[citation needed]
  • 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).[citation needed]
  • 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).[citation needed]
  • 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).[citation needed]
  • 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).[citation needed]

Present[when?] 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] As of 2015, Savill was paid a salary of between £170,000 and £174,999 by the MRC, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.[10]

Previous 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.

Awards and honours[edit]

He was appointed Knight Bachelor in the 2008 New Year Honours.[11] He was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2013,[2] awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP),[when?] elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci)[when?] and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE).[when?]


  1. ^ a b c d SAVILL, Sir John Stewart. Who's Who. 2013 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c Anon (2013). "Sir John Savill FMedSci FRS". London: Archived from the original on 17 November 2015.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    "All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 

  3. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  4. ^ Savill, John (1989). Macrophage recognition of senescent neutrophils (PhD thesis). Royal Postgraduate Medical School. OCLC 940323102. (subscription required)
  5. ^ Savill, J.; Fadok, V.; Henson, P.; Haslett, C. (1993). "Phagocyte recognition of cells undergoing apoptosis". Immunology Today. 14 (3): 131–136. PMID 8385467. doi:10.1016/0167-5699(93)90215-7. 
  6. ^ 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. PMID 12461569. doi:10.1038/nri957. 
  7. ^ Savill, J.; Fadok, V. (2000). "Corpse clearance defines the meaning of cell death". Nature. 407 (6805): 784–788. PMID 11048729. doi:10.1038/35037722. 
  8. ^ 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. PMC 303760Freely accessible. PMID 2921324. doi:10.1172/JCI113970. 
  9. ^ "New MRC Chief Executive announced". Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Senior officials 'high earners' salaries as at 30 September 2015 – GOV.UK". 17 December 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  11. ^ "Dolly creator heads Scots honours". BBC News. 29 December 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Leszek Borysiewicz
CEO of the Medical Research Council Incumbent