Martin Hume Johnson

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Martin Johnson
Professor Martin Johnson FMedSci FRS.jpg
Martin Johnson in 2014, portrait via the Royal Society
Martin Hume Johnson

(1944-12-19) 19 December 1944 (age 75)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge (MA, PhD)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
ThesisAn immunochemical analysis of factors affecting fertility (1969)

Martin Hume Johnson (born 1944) FRS FMedSci FRSB FRCOG is emeritus professor of Reproductive Sciences in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (PDN) at the University of Cambridge.[1][2][3]


Johnson was educated at Cheltenham Grammar School for Boys and Christ's College, Cambridge where he was awarded Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in 1969 for immunochemical analysis of factors affecting fertility.[1][4]


Currently, Johnson's research investigates the history of the reproductive and developmental sciences and their historical relationship to the development of human In vitro fertilisation and other clinical technologies, and to their regulation legally and ethically.[3] Johnson collaborates with Kay Elder, at the Bourn Hall Clinic, Sarah Franklin[5] and Nick Hopwood[6] in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge.

Johnson has co-authored over 300 papers on reproductive and developmental science, history, ethics, law and medical education.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] Johnson is the co-editor of Essential Reproduction (now in its eighth edition),[15] Sexuality Repositioned: diversity and the law,[16] Death Rites and Rights[17] and Birth Rites and Rights.[18]

Johnson's research has been funded by the Wellcome Trust.[3]

Awards and honours[edit]

Johnson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2014. His nomination reads:

Johnson's seminal scientific contribution was the discovery and analysis of cellular polarisation during early mammalian development. He showed that this event initiated the first lineage segregation: one lineage formed the outer implanting layer of the placenta while the fetal body developed form the other. Recent techniques have permitted further understanding of this vital and decisive moment, and they all depend and build on his foundations. He also contributed to human reproductive sciences with his work leading to change in clinical practice.[2]

Johnson was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) in 2012. His nomination reads:

Martin Johnson is Professor of Reproductive Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of early mammalian development and of human reproduction. Johnson's work on mouse development shed light on the earliest steps of embryogenesis. He also contributed to our understanding of the timing of zygotic gene activation, optimised protocols for cryopreservation of mouse oocytes, and used transgenic mice to study erythropoietin production with me, and the role of glial cells in brain regeneration after traumatic damage. Johnson has also contributed significantly to issues surrounding the regulation of reproductive medicine.[19]

Johnson is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB).

Having been, with Richard Gardner, Bob Edwards' first graduate student (1966–1969), Prof Johnson opened the Nobel Symposium[20] on Bob's work in Stockholm, 2010.


  1. ^ a b c d "JOHNSON, Prof. Martin Hume". Who's Who. 2014 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c "Professor Martin Johnson FMedSci FRS". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 26 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Professor Martin Hume Johnson MA, PhD (Cantab), FRCOG, FMedSci, FRS". University of Cambridge. 2014. Archived from the original on 1 December 2014.
  4. ^ Johnson, Martin Hume (1969). An immunochemical analysis of factors affecting fertility (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge.
  5. ^ Franklin, S.; Johnson, M. H. (2013). "Are assisted reproduction health professionals still letting down their patients?". Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 27 (5): 451–452. doi:10.1016/j.rbmo.2013.09.001.
  6. ^ Johnson, M. H.; Franklin, S. B.; Cottingham, M.; Hopwood, N. (2010). "Why the Medical Research Council refused Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe support for research on human conception in 1971". Human Reproduction. 25 (9): 2157–74. doi:10.1093/humrep/deq155. PMC 2922998. PMID 20657027.
  7. ^ Martin Hume Johnson's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  8. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic
  9. ^ Bush, T.; Puvanachandra, N.; Horner, C.; Polito, A.; Ostenfeld, T.; Svendsen, C.; Mucke, L.; Johnson, M.; Sofroniew, M. (1999). "Leukocyte Infiltration, Neuronal Degeneration, and Neurite Outgrowth after Ablation of Scar-Forming, Reactive Astrocytes in Adult Transgenic Mice". Neuron. 23 (2): 297–308. doi:10.1016/S0896-6273(00)80781-3. PMID 10399936.
  10. ^ Pickering, S. J.; Braude, P. R.; Johnson, M. H.; Cant, A; Currie, J (1990). "Transient cooling to room temperature can cause irreversible disruption of the meiotic spindle in the human oocyte". Fertility and Sterility. 54 (1): 102–8. doi:10.1016/s0015-0282(16)53644-9. PMID 2358076.
  11. ^ Bush, T. G.; Savidge, T. C.; Freeman, T. C.; Cox, H. J.; Campbell, E. A.; Mucke, L.; Johnson, M. H.; Sofroniew, M. V. (1998). "Fulminant Jejuno-Ileitis following Ablation of Enteric Glia in Adult Transgenic Mice". Cell. 93 (2): 189–201. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81571-8. PMID 9568712.
  12. ^ Johnson, M. H.; Nasr-Esfahani, M. H. (1994). "Radical solutions and cultural problems: Could free oxygen radicals be responsible for the impaired development of preimplantation mammalian embryos in vitro?". BioEssays. 16 (1): 31–8. doi:10.1002/bies.950160105. PMID 8141805.
  13. ^ Flach, G; Johnson, M. H.; Braude, P. R.; Taylor, R. A.; Bolton, V. N. (1982). "The transition from maternal to embryonic control in the 2-cell mouse embryo". The EMBO Journal. 1 (6): 681–6. PMC 553268. PMID 7188357.
  14. ^ Nasr-Esfahani, M. H.; Aitken, J. R.; Johnson, M. H. (1990). "Hydrogen peroxide levels in mouse oocytes and early cleavage stage embryos developed in vitro or in vivo". Development. 109 (2): 501–7. PMID 2401209.
  15. ^ Johnson, M. H. (2018). Essential reproduction. Chichester, West Sussex Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 1444335758.
  16. ^ Brooks-Gordon, Belinda (2004). Sexuality Repositioned: Diversity and the Law. Oxford Portland, Or: Hart. ISBN 1841134899.
  17. ^ Brooks-Gordon, Belinda (2007). Death Rites and Rights. Oxford Portland, Or: Hart. ISBN 1841137324.
  18. ^ Ebtehaj, Fatemeh (2011). Birth rites and rights. Oxford Portland, Or: Hart Pub. ISBN 1849461880.
  19. ^ "Professor Martin Johnson FRS FMedSci". London: Academy of Medical Sciences. Archived from the original on 1 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Robert G. Edwards – Nobel Lecture: Robert Edwards: Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine". Retrieved 11 October 2016.