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Green Templeton College | Oxford

Alan EmeryEmery, Alan E.H.

Hon Fellow, Emeritus Professor, University of Edinburgh

MD DSc (Manc), PhD (Johns Hopkins), FRCPE, FRCP, FLS,


MD honoris causa (Naples, Würzburg, Athens), DSc honoris causa (Chester), Hon FRSM, Hon FACMG, Hon FRS (SAf), Hon FMDA (Brazil), also Gold Medal (Pro Finlandiae); Gold Medal (Conte Academy, Naples, Italy); Life Time Achievement Awards (World Federation of Neurology and the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign of GB); Cockcroft Medal and Doubleday Awards, Manchester; National Foundation March of Dimes Award for Research, USA, and International Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education of the American Society of Human Genetics.


Alan Eglin Heathcote Emery, son of Harold Heathcote Emery, b. 21 Aug. 1928. After military service with the King’s Hussars entered Manchester University and graduated BSc (double First Class Hons in Botany & Zoology), then after a period of research and teaching returned to study Medicine and graduated (First Class Hons) in 1960. Following junior hospital appointments he obtained a PhD in Human Genetics at Johns Hopkins University and on returning to the UK became Reader in Medical Genetics at Manchester University and later Foundation Professor of Human Genetics at Edinburgh University (1968-1983). President Clinical Genetics Society (1980). Subsequently he set up the European Neuromuscular Centre (ENMC) in Paris, later The Netherlands, for facilitating and coordinating research into neuromuscular disorders in Europe, and from 1999 its Chief Scientific Advisor. In 2001 he set up the Section of Medical Genetics at the Royal Society of Medicine and was its first President (2001-2004), and elected a Trustee (2007-2008).

He has been a Visiting Professor at several Universities including UCLA, Cape Town, Duke (North Carolina), Heidelberg, Hyderabad, Memorial (Newfoundland), New York, Padua, Peking, Warsaw, Rangoon, Royal Post Graduate Medical School, St. George’s Medical School, and Institute of Neurology, London.

He has published over 400 papers mainly concerned with clinical, biochemical and genetic research in neuromuscular disorders. He was the first to delineate the disease Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy and its protein, Emerin, has been named after him, and Emery-Nelson syndrome. He has also written or edited 24 books.

Currently he is on the Advisory Board of the Wolfson Centre for Inherited Neuromuscular Diseases, a Vice President of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and an Honorary Fellow of Green Templeton College where he continues his writing and lecturing. His outside interests include fly-fishing, painting in oils and is a published poet.