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 interested in, and excited about, the potential impact of research into andrology on both diagnosis and treatment of infertility. He strongly believes that research 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 involved.

Jackson's role as Science Lead at Birmingham Women’s Fertility Centre has provided him with a number of amazing opportunities including 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 a Deputy Coordinator of ESHRE-SIG Andrology and qualified to teach and assess the official ESHRE Basic Semen Analysis Training Course; the current Secretary of British Andrology Society; and currently also sits on the following committees: Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority Professional Organisation Group; Association of Biomedical Andrologists and UK NEQAS for Semen Analysis. He is also a member of the Surgeon General’s Military Genito-Urinary Working Group.

Recent Invited Lectures

Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) 2013 President’s Lecturer; Society for Reproduction & Fertility (SRF); Frontiers in Reproduction (MBL Wood’s Hole); British Andrology Society (BAS); French Andrology Society (SALF).

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 a 3-year fully-funded PhD Studentship 
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. 

Find out more

The role of sperm DNA in early miscarriage


  • 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 Drs Sarah Conner & Linda Lefievre, who are major collaborators across all my work in Reproduction.
  • Collaboration on fluid dynamics in the female reproductive tract led by Science City Research Fellow Dr David Smith; with Dr Eamonn Gaffney & Dr Heres Gadhela (Maths, Oxon); 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 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

  • 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.
  • Person Responsible on two Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Research Licences.
  • Science, Research and Development Lead – Birmingham Women's Fertility Centre, Birmingham Women’s Hospital.
  • Trainer around gamete banking and fertility preservation for Teenage Cancer Trust / Birmingham Children’s Hospital / Birmingham City University


Recent publications


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.

Miller, D, Pavitt, S, Sharma, V, Forbes, G, Hooper, R, Bhattacharya, S, Kirkman-Brown, J, Coomarasamy, A, Lewis, S, Cutting, R, Brison, D, Pacey, A, West, R, Brian, K, Griffin, D & Khalaf, Y 2019, 'Physiological, hyaluronan-selected intracytoplasmic sperm injection for infertility treatment (HABSelect): a parallel, two-group, randomised trial', The Lancet, vol. 393, no. 10170, pp. 416-422.

Gallagher, MT, Cupples, G, Ooi, EH, Kirkman-Brown, J & Smith, D 2019, 'Rapid sperm capture: High-throughput flagellar waveform analysis', Human Reproduction, vol. 34, no. 7, pp. 1173–1185.


Kirkman-Brown, J & Coomarasamy, A 2019, 'Sperm selection for assisted reproduction by prior hyaluronan binding: the HABSelect RCT', Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation, vol. 6, no. 1.

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

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

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.

Regular commentator for British Andrology Society on items related to fertility treatment and most commonly sperm in the news for print, national and local radio.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities