John Harper is currently Honorary Professor of Paediatric Dermatology at University College London, Institute of Child Health / Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Prof John Harper

About Professor Harper

He trained at St Mary’s Hospital, University of London, qualifying in 1973, and completed his postgraduate MD thesis on skin manifestations of graft versus host disease in children receiving a bone marrow transplant at Westminster Children’s Hospital in London.

He was appointed Consultant in Paediatric Dermatology at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1986 and became a Professor in 2001. He retired from the NHS in 2014 and continued as an Honorary Consultant until 2017.

Professor Harper has been a pioneer of Paediatric Dermatology and has a highly respected world-wide reputation.

He was the founder Secretary and Chairman of the British Society for Paediatric Dermatology from 1988 to 1991 and President of the European Society of Paediatric Dermatology from 1993 to 1996.

atopic dermatitis / eczema haemangiomas
port wine stains
neonatal skin disorders birthmarks

Clinical Interests

Professor Harper's special clinical interests are children with: difficult eczema; psoriasis; vascular anomalies; genetic disorders of the skin, in particular the neurocutaneous syndromes and the inherited ichthyoses; growth dysregulation as in Proteus syndrome; skin conditions associated with immunodeficiency, including graft versus host disease; developmental abnormalities (birthmarks) of the skin and neonatal skin disorders.

As well as his clinical contributions, Professor Harper established an active research team at the Institute of Child Health, focusing on skin biology in children.


Harper’s Textbook of Paediatric Dermatology, now in its 3rd edition 2011, is internationally recognised as the gold standard text for the specialty. The new 4th edition is in production and will be available in 2019. He has also published over 175 peer-reviewed papers on a wide range of topics in Paediatric Dermatology.


Current research interests include: skin barrier abnormalities and its relevance to eczema and the inherited ichthyoses; scleroderma; wound healing and gene therapy for severe genetic skin disorders, in particular Netherton syndrome. The ultimate objective being new treatments for skin conditions in children – “from laboratory bench to the patient”.