Prof John A McKnight


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Consultant Physician

Honorary Professor, University of Edinburgh


  • General Diabetes
  • Renal Diabetes
  • Adolescent Diabetes
  • Cystic Fibrosis Diabetes
  • General Endocrinology


  • Western General Hospital


John McKnight graduated with Honours from Queens University, Belfast in 1983.  He was a research fellow in the Sir George E Clark Metabolic Unit, Belfast from 1987 to 1989 (Prof Brew Atkinson) and from 1992 to 1994 spent two years as a research fellow at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University, Boston (Prof Norman Hollenberg).  He was appointed Consultant Physician at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh in 1994. 

Previous research had included contributions to the DASH, POPADAD and CARDS studies.  Current research includes preventing diabetes (PODOSA study (Prof Raj Bhopal)), and remote monitoring of diabetes TELESCOT study (Prof Brian McKinstry).  He is a founder member and grant holder of the Scottish Diabetes Research Network with a particular interest in epidemiological studies based on the Scottish Diabetes Survey. He has contributed to over 100 publications in peer reviewed medical journals.  In 2012 he was awarded an honorary Professorship at the University of Edinburgh.

He has been chairman of the Scottish Diabetes Survey Monitoring Group for the last 12 years and was Speciality Advisor from 2004 to 2010.  He chaired the Diabetes SIGN Guideline 116 (2010) and currently chaired the National Clinical Data Advisory Group of Healthcare Improvement Scotland for six years. 

He was appointed Lead Clinician for Diabetes in Scotland in 2011.  In this role he has continued to support managed clinical networks across Scotland as well as improvements in inpatient diabetes care.  He has also encouraged the provision of insulin pump therapy and other improvements for type 1 diabetes care. 

Clinically he continues to see patients in general and specialist diabetes, general medicine and endocrine clinics and assess patients presenting acutely to the medical receiving unit of the Western General Hospital.