Prof Jonathan R Seckl


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Moncrieff-Arnott Professor of Molecular Medicine

Honorary Consultant Physician


  • General Endocrinology


  • Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh


Professor Jonathan Seckl trained in medicine at University College London. After a number of busy medical training posts in London, he undertook a PhD at Imperial College studying how the brain controls stress hormones. He then joined the University of Edinburgh and has been a consultant physician in Edinburgh since 1989, first at the Western General Hospital and for the last decade at the Royal Infirmary. He was made Professor of Endocrinology in 1996 and was elected to the Moncrieff-Arnott Chair of Molecular Medicine in 1997.

Professor Seckl's clinical work focuses on endocrinology. He has particular expertise in disorders of the hypothalamus (notably diabetes insipidus), pituitary and adrenal glands and has an interest in the genetics and molecular basis of endocrine disorders. 

In research, Professor Seckl has worked for 30 years on the hormonal underpinnings of stress,  the role of glucocorticoid hormones and their metabolism in understanding how events before birth 'programme' the risks of later disorders of the brain and body, on new approaches to understand and treat age-associated disorders of memory and how glucocorticoid hormones may cause obesity and metabolic disease.  More than 40 doctors and scientists have completed PhDs in his laboratory. He has written over 400 papers and is one of Scotland's most cited medical scientists. He has spoken widely at academic meeting, to the press and lay audiences.

In Edinburgh, Professor Seckl set up and led the Molecular Medicine Centre at the Western General Hospital, initiated and led the Centre for the Study of the Ageing Brain, was inaugural Head of the School of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, and Executive Dean and Director of Research for the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. He is now Vice Principal for Research at the University of Edinburgh.  Professor Seckl currently co-chairs grant committees at the Wellcome Trust and the Technology Strategy Board-MRC.  He has been elected to the Councils of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Society for Endocrinology. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Academy of Medical Sciences and The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Professor Seckl's University of Edinburgh profile