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Fellows Directory

Mark Walport

Mark Walport

Sir Mark Walport FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2011


Mark Walport is Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government. Earlier in his career he made key contributions to understanding the role in lupus of the ‘complement’ system. Mark found that deficiencies in complement — normally a protective immune response — were important in conferring susceptibility to the autoimmune disease.

In people affected by lupus, the immune system attacks their own tissues, and it was known that activation of the complement pathway was part of the disease process. Studying a handful of lupus patients with hereditary disruption to the complement system, Mark revealed the complex role of the complement pathway in this disease.

Mark has held distinguished senior positions of influence in research in the United Kingdom. During Mark’s tenure as Director of the Wellcome Trust, he oversaw the launch of the popular public Wellcome Collection. In 2013, he was appointed as Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government, where he tweets as @uksciencechief.

Professional positions

CEO, UK Research and Innovation

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Molecular immunology
  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Cellular and humoral immunology, Cellular pathology, Genetics (excluding population genetics)
  • Health and human sciences
    • Medicine, clinical studies, Molecular medicine
  • Other
    • History of science, Public understanding of science, Science education at secondary level, Science policy, Scientific information provision, Publications
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