Professor Jackson C. Kirkman-Brown MBE PhD

Professor Jackson Kirkman-Brown

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Professor in Reproductive Biology

Contact details

Centre for Human Reproductive Science
Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Jackson is internationally recognised for his work in fertility and sperm (Andrology). He strongly believes that research into diagnostic and therapies in the area can have a rapid and direct impact not only on care, and therefore birth of the next generation, but also quality of life for the patients and children involved. As Director of the Centre for Human Reproductive Science he leads an interdisciplinary team with clinical trials and basic science collaborations across the UK and globe.

Jackson hold a dual-role, alongside his academic work he is also Director, HFEA Person Responsible and Science Lead at Birmingham Women’s Fertility Centre which includes coordinating one of the largest regional Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) services.

Jackson has also been privileged to be able to have the opportunity to setup, develop and create the laboratory techniques and services for Fertility Preservation in the event of catastrophic genital injury. This work was undertaken with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and recognised with him being conferred an MBE and most recently being named as the Chief Scientific Officer's Healthcare Scientist of 2014 by Professor Sue Hill.


Jackson is Chair of the Association for Reproductive and Clinical Scientists (ARCS), the UK Professional Society for Andrology and Embryology. In this role he also sits on a number of committees including Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority Professional Organisation Group. He is also a member of the Surgeon General’s Military Genito-Urinary Working Group.

Jackson is a Past Coordinator of ESHRE-SIG Andrology and qualified to teach and assess the official ESHRE Basic Semen Analysis Training Course.

Recent Invited Lectures

Jackson currently gives around twelve international invited lectures a year.

Healthcare Scientist of the Year HCS#2014

Presented by Professor Sue Hill OBE, Chief Scientific Officer  

MBE – Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2013

For services to Human Reproductive Science.

Commander Joint Medical Command's Commendation 2012 

For “reasons of commitment, professionalism and personal dedication” in my work on fertility preservation after genital injury.

NHS Chief Executive’s Special Recognition Award for Leadership (December 2010)

Award created by Sir David Nicholson especially for JKB and Major John Clark for development of the techniques and service to provide severely injured soldiers hope of a family in the future.


  • 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.

Funded PhD opportunity 

Applications are invited for PhD Studentships. 
Applicants should have a strong background in a relevant scientific discipline. They should have a commitment to reproductive science research and hold or realistically expect to obtain at least an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a relevant subject. 


  • Sperm quality and selection. Taking knowledge from the HABSelect trial – where we conclusively demonstrated that female-age-related miscarriage actually has a major male factor - forwards into improved or new diagnostics and therapies for fertility.
  • Flagellar beat analysis as a diagnostic and sperm-assessment measure, co-led alongside Dr Meurig Gallagher, utilising our “FAST” sperm software.
  • Clinical Trials in Assisted Conception and Fertility (including pAToMiUM and UNiTY trials).
  • 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.
  • Collaboration on fluid dynamics in the female reproductive tract with Dr Meurig Gallagher. & Professor David Dyson-Smith. This involves various advanced imaging modalities including our “FAST” sperm software.
  • Novel modulators of human sperm function alongside Dr Liam Cox and John Snaith (Chemistry, Birmingham)

Other activities

  • Person Responsible on Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Treatment & Storage Licence. Has also held Research licences.
  • Adviser and on-screen specialist in human fertility science for Embarassing Bodies (Channel 4 / Maverick TV).
  • 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.
  • Trainer around gamete banking and fertility preservation for Teenage Cancer Trust / Birmingham Children’s Hospital / Birmingham City University


Recent publications


Newman-Sanders, A, Kirkman-Brown, J & Gallagher, MT 2024, 'Gym lifestyle factors and male reproductive health: a study into young adult usage and perceptions', Reproductive BioMedicine Online, vol. 48, no. 1, 103623.

Gallagher, MT, Kirkman-Brown, J & Smith, D 2023, 'Axonemal regulation by curvature explains sperm flagellar waveform modulation', PNAS nexus, vol. 2, no. 3, pgad072.

Björndahl, L, Barratt, CLR, Mortimer, D, Agarwal, A, Aitken, RJ, Alvarez, JG, Aneck-Hahn, N, Arver, S, Baldi, E, Bassas, L, Boitrelle, F, Bornman, R, Carrell, DT, Castilla, JA, Cerezo parra, G, Check, JH, Cuasnicu, PS, Darney, SP, De jager, C, De jonge, CJ, Drevet, JR, Drobnis, EZ, Du plessis, SS, Eisenberg, ML, Esteves, SC, Evgeni, EA, Ferlin, A, Garrido, N, Giwercman, A, Goovaerts, IGF, Haugen, TB, Henkel, R, Henningsohn, L, Hofmann, M, Hotaling, JM, Jedrzejczak, P, Jouannet, P, Jørgensen, N, Kirkman brown, JC, Krausz, C, Kurpisz, M, Kvist, U, Lamb, DJ, Levine, H, Loveland, KL, Mclachlan, RI, Mahran, A, Maree, L, Martins da silva, S, Mbizvo, MT, Meinhardt, A, Menkveld, R, Mortimer, ST, Moskovtsev, S, Muller, CH, Munuce, MJ, Muratori, M, Niederberger, C, O’flaherty, C, Oliva, R, Ombelet, W, Pacey, AA, Palladino, MA, Ramasamy, R, Ramos, L, Rives, N, Roldan, ER, Rothmann, S, Sakkas, D, Salonia, A, Sánchez-Pozo, MC, Sapiro, R, Schlatt, S, Schlegel, PN, Schuppe, H, Shah, R, Skakkebæk, NE, Teerds, K, Toskin, I, Tournaye, H, Turek, PJ, Van der horst, G, Vazquez-Levin, M, Wang, C, Wetzels, A, Zeginiadou, T & Zini, A 2022, 'Standards in semen examination: publishing reproducible and reliable data based on high-quality methodology', Human Reproduction, vol. 2022, deac189.

Thomas-Seale, L, Kanagalingam, S, Kirkman-Brown, J, Attallah, M, Espino, D & Shepherd, D 2022, 'Teaching design for additive manufacturing: efficacy of and engagement with lecture and laboratory approaches', International Journal of Technology and Design Education.

Bisconti, M, Leroy, B, Gallagher, MT, Senet, C, Martinet, B, Arcadia, V, Wattiez, R, Kirkman-Brown, J, Simon, J-F & Hennebert, E 2022, 'The ribosome inhibitor chloramphenicol induces motility deficits in human spermatozoa: a proteomic approach identifies potentially involved proteins', Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, vol. 10, 965076.

Björndahl, L, Kirkman-Brown, J & other WHO Laboratory Manual for the Examination and Processing of Human Semen Editorial Board Members 2022, 'The sixth edition of the WHO manual on semen examination: ensuring quality and standardization in basic examination of human ejaculates', Fertility and Sterility, vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 246-251.

Taiwo, BG, Frettsome-Hook, RL, Taylor, AE, Correia, JN, Lefievre, L, Publicover, SJ, Conner, SJ & Kirkman-Brown, JC 2021, 'Complex combined steroid mix of the female tract modulates human sperm', Reproductive biology, vol. 21, no. 4, 100561.

Kirkman-Brown, J 2020, ''Genes versus children': if the goal is parenthood, are we using the optimal approach?', Human reproduction (Oxford, England).

Neal, C, Hall-McNair, A, Kirkman-Brown, J, Smith, D & Gallagher, MT 2020, 'Doing more with less: the flagellar end piece enhances the propulsive effectiveness of spermatozoa', Physical Review Fluids, vol. 5, no. 7, 073101 .

Esteves, SC & Kirkman-Brown, J 2020, 'SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and repercussions for male infertility patients: a proposal for the individualized provision of andrological services', Andrology.

Saliba, S, Kirkman-Brown, J & Thomas-Seale, L 2020, 'Temporal design for additive manufacturing', The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, vol. 106, no. 9-10, pp. 3849-3857.

Conference contribution

Cupples, G, Gallagher, MT, Smith, D & Kirkman-Brown, J 2021, Heads and tails: requirements for informative and robust computational measures of sperm motility. in L Björndahl, J Flanagan, R Holmberg & U Kvist (eds), XIIIth International Symposium on Spermatology. Springer, Cham, pp. 135-150.

Review article

Gallagher, MT, Krasauskaite, I & Kirkman-Brown, J 2023, 'Only the Best of the Bunch: Sperm Preparation Is Not Just about Numbers', Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 273-278.

Baldi, E, Gallagher, MT, Krasnyak, S, Kirkman-Brown, J & Editorial Board members of the World Health Organization laboratory manual for the examination and processing of human semen 2022, 'Extended semen examinations in the sixth edition of the WHO Laboratory Manual for the Examination and Processing of Human Semen: contributing to the understanding of the function of the male reproductive system', Fertility and Sterility, vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 252-257.

Agarwal, A & Kirkman-Brown, J 2019, 'Male Oxidative Stress Infertility (MOSI): proposed terminology and clinical practice guidelines for management of idiopathic male infertility', World Journal of Men's Health, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 296-312.

View all publications in research portal


  • Sperm
  • Infertility
  • IVF / Assisted Conception

Media experience

Commentator for ARCS and Science Media Centre on items related to fertility treatment and most commonly sperm in the news for print, national and local radio.

Adviser and on-screen specialist in human fertility / sperm / reproductive science for Embarassing Bodies (Channel 4 / Maverick TV).

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.