John McKnight

Professor John McKnight MD FRCP

John McKnight completed his education at The Academy in 1978. His nickname was “Whimsey” after a boat that he sailed in Strangford Lough. He was by all accounts a popular and successful student though he had a habit of dislocating his shoulder at rugby which cannot have made doing homework any easier. According to The Owl, Volume 55, No. 1 he was a somewhat unorthodox off spinner able to break stubborn partnerships and a captain of the 1st XI who was, according to a coach whom we all know well, “inspiring, determined and demanding.”

No doubt these qualities stood him in good stead in the medical profession, which he entered after graduating from QUB in 1983. He became a research fellow in the metabolic unit from 1987 to 1989, which was followed in 1992 by a fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University in the United States. In 1994, he became a consultant physician at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

Throughout his career Professor McKnight has focused on research, prevention and treatment of diabetes. He has contributed to over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and in 2012 was awarded an honorary professorship at the University of Edinburgh.

Since 2011 Professor McKnight has been lead clinician for diabetes in Scotland in which role he has led clinical networks across Scotland, making improvements in inpatient diabetes care and insuring improved types of treatment.