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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience



Currently, my main interest is in the history of the reproductive and developmental sciences and their historical relationship to the development of human IVF and other clinical technologies, and to their regulation legally and ethically.

I am joint senior editor of Reproductive BioMedicine and Society Online (RBMS). I also co-edited the proceedings of the seventh seminar of the Cambridge Socio-legal Group called Birth Rites and Rights published by Hart Publishing. The 8th Edition of Essential Reproduction (Wiley Blackwell Science) was published in March 2018.



Professor Sarah Franklin, Sociology, Cambridge
Dr Nick Hopwood, History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge


Key publications: 

P.R. Braude & M.H. Johnson (2023) The Legacy: 2019 and BeyondIn Presenting the First Test Tube Baby:The Steptoe and Edwards Lecture, 1979 (Eds. Littleton F.K., Bewley, S., Drife, J.O.) CUP, 201-215

A. Clarke & M.H. Johnson (2023) ANNE LAURA DORINTHEA MCLAREN DBE 26 April 1927— 7 July 2007 Biographical Memoirs of the Royal Society 74, 309-337

A. Jain, K. Bozovicar, V. Mehrotra, T. Bratkovic, M. H. Johnson & I. Jha (2022) Investigating the specificity of ET-traps as a potential therapeutic tool for endothelin-1 related disorders. World Journal of Diabetes, 13(6), 434-441

A, Jain & M. H. Johnson (2020) ET-traps offer a potential therapeutic tool for use in different autoimmune diseases. Drug Discovery Today, in press

K Williams & M. H. Johnson (2020) Adapting the 14-day rule for embryo research to encompass evolving technologies. RBMS 10, 1-9

C. Aiken & M. H. Johnson (2019) A mouse model for the effects of IVF procedures on the development of embryos. RBMO 39 355-356

M.H. Johnson (2019)  The Significance of Cell Polarity in Early Mammalian Development. Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences. Elsevier. 22-Jan-2019 doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.99504-7

P.R. Braude & M.H. Johnson (2019) Reflections on 40 years of IVF. BJOG 126, 135-137

M. H. Johnson (2019) Human in vitro fertilisation and developmental biology: a mutually influential history. Development146, doi:10.1242/dev.183145

S. Stock-Myer & M.H. Johnson (2018) A big step forward for PGT-M?  Reproductive BioMedicine Online 37, 126-127.

A Jain, V Mehrotra, H Yong, K Hiremath, A Jain, M. H. Johnson & Ira Jha (2017) Creating a soluble binder to             endothelin-1 based on the natural ligand binding domains of the endothelin-1 (G-protein–coupled) receptor. International Journal of Peptide Research and Therapeutic

M.H. Johnson (2017) Robert G. Edwards and the thorny path to the birth of Louise Brown. A history of in vitro fertilization and ET. In: (EDS. Gardner, Weissman, Howles, and Shoham) Textbook of Assisted Reproductive Techniques 5th Edition, Volume 1: CRC Press Taylor and Francis, Oxford, pp.xxv-xli.

M. Alikani, B. Fauser,  J. Garcia Velasaco, J. L. Simpson & M.H. Johnson (2917) First birth following spindle transfer for mitochondrial replacement therapy: hope and trepidation . Reproductive BioMedicine Online 34, 333-336.

W . Dondorp & M.H. Johnson (2017) Human-animal chimeras: circumventing rather than discussing ethical concerns comes at a price. Reproductive BioMedicine Online 35, 341-342.

M.H. Johnson (2019) A short history of in vitro fertilization (IVF).  Int. J. Dev. Biol. 63, 83-92.

M.H. Johnson (2019) IVF: The women who helped make it happen. Reprod Biomed Soc  8, 1-6.

M.H. Johnson, N. Hopwood (2018) Law and Regulation. In: (Eds. N Hopwood, R Fleming, L. Kassell) Reproduction: Antiquity to the present day.  CUP, Cambridge. Pp. 597=611.

M.H. Johnson (2018) The professional hostility confronting Edwards, Steptoe and Purdy in their pioneering work on IVF. In: (eds. Kovacs, G., Brinsden, P., & Decherney, A.) In-Vitro Fertilization: The Pioneers’ History. CUP, Cambridge. Pp. 41-49

Elder K, Johnson MH, (2015), The Oldham Notebooks: an analysis of the development of IVF 1969-1978, Six papers in Reproductive BioMedicine and Society, 1, 3-70

Wong CC, Johnson MH, (2014), Therapy for mitochondrial genetic disease: are we at the thin end of the wedge? Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 29, 147-149

Arnaiz I, Johnson MH, Cook DI, Day ML, (2013), Changing expression of chloride channels during preimplantation mouse development, Reproduction, 145, 73-84

Johnson MH, (2013), Tri-parenthood – a simply misleading term or an ethically misguided approach? Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 26, 516-519

Johnson MH, Theodosiou AA, (2012), PGD and the making of the genetic embryo as a political tool, in Regulating PGD: A Comparative and Theoretical Analysis, (Ed. McLean, S.) Routledge, London, UK

Theodosiou AA, Johnson MH, (2011), The politics of human embryo research and the motivation to achieve PGD, Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 22, 457– 471

Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Sciences (retired)
Professor Martin  Johnson

Contact Details

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