Honorary Fellow

Ed Southern

  • My former position - Whitley Professor and head of Biochemistry – is attached to Trinity.
  • My research developing methods for analysing complex DNAs has led to DNA fingerprinting in forensics and contributed to the molecular mapping of the human genome.
  • I came to Oxford from Edinburgh, where I was head of a MRC research unit.
Ed Southern


As Professor of Biochemistry, I am best known for the development of two methods for analysing complex DNAs.  The ‘Southern Blot’, developed in Edinburgh, led to DNA fingerprinting in forensics and to the first molecular maps of the human genome; the oligonucleotide microarray developed in Oxford is widely used in research and diagnostics. 20 years ago I set up a company, Oxford Gene Technology to exploit an invention – DNA microarray technology – that I had developed in Oxford.  The sale of the company to Sysmex provided the capital to set up the Kirkhouse Trust, which I am chairman of. The Trust supports research in the application of molecular methods to crop improvement in 14 African countries. It currently employs a dozen staff in premises in Long Hanborough.

I retired from my university chair 12 years ago.