Sir John became Chairman of the Trust on 1 December 2017.
He obtained a first class honours degree in Human Genetics and an MD with distinction from Newcastle University, where he has been Professor of Clinical Genetics since 1991.
He was appointed as a consultant specialist in Newcastle in 1984 and led the regional NHS Genetics Service for 20 years. As well as helping to create the Centre for Life, which houses an education and science centre alongside the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Sir John is Vice Chair for the Newcastle based DNA device company, QuantuMDx Ltd.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians (London and Edinburgh), Paediatrics and Child Health, Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
He was knighted in 2010 and chosen as one of the first 20 ‘local heroes’ to have a brass plaque on Newcastle Quayside in 2014. He also received the Living North award in 2015 for services to the North East and is Treasurer and Co-Director of the international organisation, Global Variome, which seeks to share knowledge of genetic variation for clinical benefit.
Previous roles include President of the European Society of Human Genetics, Lead Clinician of the Northern Strategic Authority and Non Executive Director at NHS England.
As Trust Chairman, Sir John:
- chairs the Board of Directors and ensures that a corporate vision and strategy is developed and maintained;
- chairs the Council of Governors and acts as a bridge between the Council of Governors and the Board of Directors;
- ensures the Council of Governors has appropriate arrangements in place to hold the Board of Directors to account through the Non-Executive Directors;
- has a close working relationship with the Trust’s Chief Executive;
- is an Ambassador for Newcastle Hospitals and the wider healthcare system; and
- represents the Trust at local, national and international level.