John Skehel

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Sir John Skehel
John James Skehel

(1941-02-27) 27 February 1941 (age 77)
NationalityUnited Kingdom
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Alma mater
Known forresearch on influenza virus
Anita Varley (m. 1962)
Scientific career
ThesisStudies on cation transport in yeast (1965)
Doctoral advisorAlan Eddy

Sir John James Skehel (born 27 February 1941)[2][3] FRS[4] FMedSci is a British virologist and Emeritus scientist at the Francis Crick Institute in London.[4] From 1987 to 2006 he was Director of the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) at Mill Hill which was incorporated into the Crick Institute in 2016.[5]

Education and early life[edit]

Skehel was born in Blackburn to Joseph and Annie Skehel in 1941, and was educated at St. Mary's College, Blackburn before entering the University of Aberystwyth to study for a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural biochemistry.

He completed his postgraduate study at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), completing his PhD in biochemistry in 1966 supervised by Alan Eddy, for research on cation transport in yeast.[6]

Career and research[edit]

Following his PhD, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Aberdeen[2] for research, continuing it at Duke University.[citation needed]

In 1969 he returned to Britain and began work at the National Institute for Medical Research on the influenza virus. In 1984 he was made head of the virology division, followed by a promotion in 1987 to director of the Institute. He was director of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza from 1975 to 1993.[4][7]

Awards and honours[edit]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1984.[4] He was awarded the Wilhelm Feldberg Prize in 1986, the Robert Koch Prize in 1987, the Louis Jeantet Prix de Medecin in 1988, the ICN International Prize in Virology in 1992, knighted in 1996 and awarded the Royal Medal in 2003 for "his pioneering research into virology". In 1998, he became a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.[8] In November 2013, he was appointed Vice-President and Biological Secretary of the Royal Society. He was made an honorary professor of Liverpool John Moores University in 1993 and given an honorary degree in 2007.[3] In 2004 he was also given an honorary degree from University College London.[9]

Skehel was appointed Knight Bachelor in the 1997 New Year Honours.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Soon after graduating he married Anita Varley in 1962, with whom he has two sons.[2]


  1. ^ Louis-Jeantet Prize
  2. ^ a b c SKEHEL, Sir John (James). Who's Who. 2016 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. closed access publication – behind paywall (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b "Professor Sir John Skehel". Archived from the original on 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2008-11-15.
  4. ^ a b c d "Sir John Skehel FMedSci FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. 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 September 25, 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-09.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

  5. ^ "Emeritus Scientist - John Skehel". London: Archived from the original on 2016-06-07.
  6. ^ Skehel, John James (1965). Studies on cation transport in yeast (PhD thesis). University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. OCLC 643345784.
  7. ^ Skehel, John J.; Wiley, Don C. (2000). "Receptor Binding and Membrane Fusion in Virus Entry: The Influenza Hemagglutinin". Annual Review of Biochemistry. 69 (1): 531–569. doi:10.1146/annurev.biochem.69.1.531. PMID 10966468.
  8. ^ "Fellows". Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  9. ^ "Honorary Graduands 2004". Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-11-15.
  10. ^ "No. 54663". The London Gazette. 1997-01-28. p. 1095.