Real Lives: Sir John wins fellowship for work in medical field

Sir John Savill with David Tolley, left, and George Youngson, right
Sir John Savill with David Tolley, left, and George Youngson, right
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The vice-principal of Edinburgh University has been awarded an honorary fellowship of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Professor Sir John Savill, also head of the college of medicine and veterinary medicine, has been honoured in recognition of his significant contributions to medicine.

He graduated in physiological sciences from Oxford, in 1978 and in medicine from Sheffield in 1981, and received a PhD eight years later.

After junior hospital appointments in Sheffield, Nottingham and London, Prof Savill spent seven years in the department of medicine at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital in London.

He also spent time as a Medical Research Council (MRC) clinical training fellow and Wellcome Trust senior clinical research fellow.

Sir John came to Edinburgh in 1998 as professor of medicine.

He was then appointed the first director of the university’s MRC Centre for Inflammation Research.

Four years later, he moved into his current roles as vice-principal and head of the college of medicine and veterinary medicine. He also became the chair of experimental medicine in 2006.

Prof Savill’s work has been recognised by the Scottish Government. In 2008, he was appointed chief scientist for the health minister.

Further recognition followed from the fellowships of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of London and Edinburgh, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the American Society of Nephrology and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Even the Queen had her say when she knighted him in the 2008 New Year’s Honours List for services to clinical science.

Royal College of Surgeons president David Tolley said: “The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is delighted to welcome Prof Sir John Savill as an honorary fellow.

“This award recognises his outstanding influence and contribution to UK medicine as well as his continued support which has spawned a fruitful partnership with the University of Edinburgh, resulting in the development of the highly successful Edinburgh surgical sciences qualification.

“I took great pleasure in presenting the award which marks Prof Sir John Savill’s outstanding contributions in the field of medicine.”