Professor Sir Gordon Duff studied Medicine at Oxford and St Thomas's Hospital, London, where he also gained a PhD in Neuropharmacology. Following postgraduate medical training, he held junior faculty posts at Yale Medical School and the Howard Hughes Institute of Molecular Immunology. He joined Edinburgh Medical School in 1984, and in 1990 became Florey Professor of Molecular Medicine at Sheffield where he was also Faculty Research Dean and Director of the Division of Genomic Medicine. For two years, Sir Gordon was Chair of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency before taking up his post as Principal of St Hilda’s College in University of Oxford.
Sir Gordon was founding editor of the international research journal CYTOKINE, advisory editor to the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) journal, and is Past-President of the International Cytokine Society. He was Knighted for services to Public Health in 2007, and listed in the ‘Top 100’ working scientists in the UK Science Council’s list for 2014.
Sir Gordon has served on many Strategy Advisory Boards (SABs) in the UK, EU and the US. Previously Chair of the UK's Committee on Safety of Medicines and its Biologicals and Vaccines Sub-committee, he was inaugural Chair of the UK's Commission on Human Medicines (2005-2012). He was Chair of the Secretary-of-State's Expert Scientific Group on Phase One Clinical Trials following the 2006 disaster at Northwick Park. From 2002 to 2009 he was Chair of the UK's National Biological Standards Board, overseeing the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, including the National Stem Cell Bank. He is an advisor on Biological Medicines to the EU, and was Chair of the UK's Scientific Pandemic Influenza Advisory Committee. In 2009, he was appointed Co-Chair of the UK Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). In 2010 he reported on the UK's Organ Donor Register (Secretary-of-State). On 1 July 2015, Sir Gordon was appointed as the new Chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council, an appointment that will last for four years.
Sir Gordon is an Honorary Fellow of St Peter's College, Oxford, and currently chairs the Academic Health Science Centres of Imperial College London, and Trinity College, Dublin.