Fertility expert awarded MBE

Posted on Monday 7th January 2013

A Birmingham Women’s Hospital and University of Birmingham scientist, who has dedicated his professional life to helping people affected by fertility problems, has received royal recognition for his work.

Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown, Science Lead for the Birmingham Women’s Fertility Centre and Director of the Centre for Human Reproductive Science at the University of Birmingham, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Dr Kirkman-Brown is one of the UK’s leading researchers in the field of reproductive medicine and heads cutting-edge studies into the science behind fertility for the benefit of couples struggling to conceive.

His clinical work involves a close relationship with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The Queen Elizabeth is the receiving hospital for military casualties, many of whom are serving in Afghanistan.

Dr Kirkman-Brown and his team, including medical personnel from the RCDM and the QE and Women’s hospitals, are on call around the clock to deal with men whose injuries may threaten their fertility.

Earlier this year he received a Commander of Joint Medical Command’s (JMC's) Commendation for his work in this area. The citation includes:

‘Dr Kirkman-Brown has worked ceaselessly with military colleagues to develop a unique service for the military wounded. At an early stage, he recognised that sperm salvage following blast injury required a novel approach to support those with serious genital injuries. 

‘His approach is not restricted to technical aspects alone. He personally arranges follow-up consultations, that are often prolonged and involved to ensure all details are covered and to which he willingly devotes an enormous amount of personal time and energy.’ 

Commenting on news of his MBE, Dr Kirkman-Brown said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to receive this honour. It is a credit to the entire team at the Women’s, QE, RCDM and the University that our work has been recognised in this way.

‘The best thing has been seeing the difference that our work has made to individuals and we look forward to the first child being born as a result of our work, which is due in early 2013.’

Professor Ros Keeton, Chief Executive of Birmingham Women’s Hospital said: “We are delighted that Jackson has received this great honour. Jackson is a wonderful asset for the Women’s, he thoroughly deserves to be recognised in this way.”

Dr Kirkman-Brown is now waiting to find out when he will travel to Buckingham Palace to receive his medal.

  • Dr Kirkman-Brown is a Yorkshireman, having studied at Crossley Heath School in Halifax before coming to the region to study for two higher degrees at the University of Birmingham, gaining his PhD in 2000. After postdoctoral work at the University of Massachusetts from 2002-3 he returned to Birmingham, where he has been based ever since.
  • He has helped to establish an internationally recognised research team working on human sperm, examining how sperm navigate the female tract, and has advised and participated in numerous TV documentaries and programmes, including the BBC World Service – World Have Your Say, the BBC3 documentary How Sex Works, BBC Asian Network’s – The Donor Sperm Crisis and the Discovery Channel’s The Great Sperm Race.