Dr Jackson.C Kirkman-Brown MBE PhD


Reader in Human Reproductive Science
Science Lead at Birmingham Women's Fertility Centre

Reproduction, Genes and Development

Jackson Kirkman-Brown

Contact details

Centre for Human Reproductive Science
School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


  • BMedSci and MSc (Toxicology) student projects
  • BMedSci – Reproduction and Development Course
  • MbChB – RED – Reproduction Endocrinology and Metabolism; Bio140; Bio384
  • PSIBS Course
  • BSc – School of Biosciences courses with reproduction components

Postgraduate supervision

Main Supervisor for two PhD students

Joint Supervisor / Co-Investigator for five PhD students

PhDs applications encouraged from potential students who can secure funding.


  • How the human sperm interacts with the female reproductive tract. This encompasses calcium signalling in human sperm and its modulation by factors such as progesterone, nitric oxide exposure, and pharmacological ligands. Research in this area and other modulators of calcium signalling forms the basis of the majority of PhD studentships within our group.
  • Research into egg-activation and glycoproteins of the egg and its vestments alongside Dr Sarah Conner, who is a major collaborator across all my work in Reproduction.
  • Collaboration on fluid dynamics in the female reproductive tract led by MRC Research Fellow Dr David Smith; with Dr Eamonn Gaffney (Maths, Oxon); Professor John Blake (Mathematics Bham); Professor Alan Greenaway (Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt), Dr Nikil Kapur (Engineering, Leeds). This involves various advanced imaging modalities available through our ongoing collaboration with Cairn Research.
  • Research on chemotaxis in human sperm (they are attracted to the smell of Lily of the Valley!) and G-protein coupled receptors alongside the Group of Dr Marc Spehr in Bochum, Germany. We also have strong local interactions with Dr Mark Wheatley (Biosciences, Birmingham) and Dr Graham Ladds (Warwick) on GPCRs in Reproduction studies.
  • Novel modulators of human sperm function alongside Dr Liam Cox and John Snaith (Chemistry, Birmingham)

Other activities

Joint recipient of The (NHS) Chief Executives Special Recognition Award for Leadership 2010, with colleagues from the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, for our work with injured servicemen.

Adviser and participant in various documentaries and programmes including, BBC World Service – World Have your Say; BBC Asian Network – The Donor Sperm Crisis; Discovery Channel – The Great Sperm Race.

Person Responsible on two Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Research Licences.

Science, Research and Development Lead – Assisted Conception Unit, Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

Trainer around gamete banking and fertility preservation for Teenage Cancer Trust / Birmingham Children’s Hospital / Birmingham City University


Smith DJ, Gaffney EA, Gadêlha H, Kapur N, Kirkman-Brown JC. (2009) Bend propagation in the flagella of migrating human sperm, and its modulation by viscosity. Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. Apr;66(4):220-36. PMID: 19243024.

Machado-Oliveira G, Lefièvre L, Ford C, Herrero MB, Barratt C, Connolly TJ, Nash K, Morales-Garcia A, Kirkman-Brown J, Publicover S. (2008) Mobilisation of Ca2+ stores and flagellar regulation in human sperm by S-nitrosylation: a role for NO synthesised in the female reproductive tract. Development. Nov;135(22):3677-86. PMID: 18842814.

Kirkman-Brown J, Björndahl L. (2009) Evaluation of a disposable plastic Neubauer counting chamber for semen analysis. Fertil Steril. Feb;91(2):627-31. PMID: 18439603.

Bowdin S, Allen C, Kirby G, Brueton L, Afnan M, Barratt C, Kirkman-Brown J, Harrison R, Maher ER, Reardon W. (2007) A survey of assisted reproductive technology births and imprinting disorders. Hum Reprod. Dec;22(12):3237-40. PMID: 17921133.

Bedu-Addo K, Barratt CL, Kirkman-Brown JC, Publicover SJ. (2007) Patterns of [Ca2+](i) mobilization and cell response in human spermatozoa exposed to progesterone. Dev Biol. Feb 1;302(1):324-32. PubMed PMID: 17054937.

Correia JN, Conner SJ, Kirkman-Brown JC. (2007) Non-genomic steroid actions in human spermatozoa. "Persistent tickling from a laden environment". Semin Reprod Med. May;25(3):208-19. PubMed PMID: 17447210.

Harper CV, Barratt CL, Publicover SJ, Kirkman-Brown JC. (2006) Kinetics of the progesterone-induced acrosome reaction and its relation to intracellular calcium responses in individual human spermatozoa. Biol Reprod. Dec;75(6):933-9. PubMed PMID: 16957023

Björndahl L, Kirkman-Brown J, Hart G, Rattle S, Barratt CL. (2006) Development of a novel home sperm test. Hum Reprod. Jan;21(1):145-9. Epub 2005 Nov 2. PubMed PMID: 16267078

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