Professor Sir John Burn MD FRCP FRCPE FRCPCH FRCOG FMedSci was born and trained in medicine in North East England. He returned there in 1984 as its first consultant in clinical genetics and went on to become the professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle University in 1991. After 30 years as the leader of a highly successful NHS service and Human Genetics research institute he now combines his clinical and teaching role with being chief investigator of CAPP, the international Cancer Prevention programme, genetics lead for the UK National Institute of Health Research, medical director of the medical device company, QuantuMDx ltd., and co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Human Variome Project. With his wife of 40 years, Linda, he has two children and four grandchildren and his favourite pastime is playing the drums. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2010 for services medicine and healthcare.