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A qualified doctor, he obtained a first class degree in human genetics and, in 1984, became the region’s first consultant clinical geneticist. In 1989, he became clinical director of the Northern Genetics Service.

In the Nineties, he was head of the department of Human Genetics at Newcastle University for six years,
the north face waterproof is to receive a knighthood
before being appointed deputy head of the Institute of Human Genetics at the Centre of Life, later becoming head.

Last year, the Institute was graded third in quality behind Oxford and Cambridge in a national research review.

Prof Burn’s research led to the discovery that taking folic acid during pregnancy could prevent spina bifida, and he has been involved in research into the prevention of hereditary cancers.

Based on his long record of research, Prof Burn was last year appointed national chairman of the Clinical Genetics specialty group, at the National Institute of Health Research.

A spokesman for the university said: “John has made a great contribution to the study of human genetics and its application to medicine,
the north face waterproof is to receive a knighthood
as well as to public understanding of the subject.