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Fellows Directory

Martin Johnson

Professor Martin Johnson FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2014


Martin Johnson’s work has greatly expanded our understanding of mammalian development at the earliest stages. Working primarily in mice, Martin revealed the existence and importance of cellular polarisation in embryogenesis through a series of papers published in the 1980s. He also showed how this event triggers the first crossroad in cell fate determination — whether to become placenta or embryo.

In the 1960s, Martin studied under the supervision of Sir Robert Edwards, a pioneer of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and later a Fellow of the Royal Society and Nobel laureate. Indeed, Martin was chosen to present a lecture at the Nobel Prize symposium held in Sir Robert’s honour in 2010.

Martin was awarded the Society for Reproduction and Fertility’s Marshall Medal for his outstanding contributions to the field of fertility and reproduction in 2014. As an emeritus professor, he now pursues his interest in the history of the reproductive and developmental sciences, including the development of clinical technologies such as IVF and their regulation.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


History of medicine, history of reproduction and developmental biology