BSc Manch 1952, MSc 1953, MB ChB 1960, MD 1966, DSc 1970; FRCP Edin 1970; PhD Johns Hopkins University 1964.
Emery was born on 21 August 1928 and studied at Manchester Grammar School and the University of Manchester. Emery held house positions at MRI before being awarded the Dickinson Research Travelling Scholarship, which enabled him to undertake a PhD in human genetics. From 1964 Emery was head of the department of medical genetics at the University of Manchester until 1967 when he was appointed to the new chair of human genetics at Edinburgh. In 1966 Emery was also honorary consultant in medical genetics at MRI. Emery became Emeritus Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Edinburgh in 1983, by 2000 he was Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Neuromuscular Centre.