Emeritus Professor and Founder, the Institute of Medical Genetics, Cardiff University, UK

Peter S Harper was born in Barnstaple, UK, in 1939 and trained in Medicine at Oxford University and in London. After further experience in Medical Genetics with Dr Victor McKusick in Baltimore, USA, he founded and developed the Institute of Medical Genetics at Cardiff University, UK. His main research fields have been in the clinical and molecular genetic aspects of inherited neurological diseases, including Huntington's disease and myotonic dystrophy, where his group played a major role in identifying the underlying genes and the DNA instability of the causative trinucleotide mutations.


Dr Harper was also responsible for building a comprehensive genetic counselling and genetic testing service for the people of Wales, and for identifying some of the numerous ethical issues that new genetic developments created for the practice of genetic counselling and medical genetics. His book, Practical Genetic Counselling has been extensively used world-wide.


During the past decade he has focused on the need to record and preserve the history of medical genetics across the world and has conducted a series of 100 interviews with founders of the field, summarising this in his book 'A Short History of Medical Genetics'.