Sir John Savill FMedSci FRS
Professor of Experimental Medicine, Vice Principal and Head, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh
John Savill is distinguished for discovering mechanisms by which myeloid phagocytes recognize cells dying by apoptosis and suppress inflammatory responses. He discovered human integrin and scavenger receptor-mediated recognition of apoptotic cells, opening up this field in mammal and fly, and defined homophilic interactions between immunoglobulin superfamily receptors that mediate phagocyte discrimination of living from dying cells. He demonstrated that swift phagocyte clearance of apoptotic cells safely deletes “unwanted” leucocytes and resident cells from inflamed sites and has confirmed his influential hypothesis that myeloid integrin–mediated clearance of apoptotic cells has evolved to suppress the initiation and persistence of inflammatory disease. Savill’s work has been cited more than 15,000 times and his H index is 60. His most influential paper in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 1989 has been cited over 1,100 times.