Skip to content

Martin Brinkworth

Senior Lecturer

Faculty/Dept/School School of Chemistry and Bioscience
(Faculty of Life Sciences)
Telephone +441274 233584


My first degree was in Zoology at the University of Bristol (1982) from which I acquired keen interests in reproductive biology and evolution. I then studied for a PhD (1988) in male reproductive toxicology, while working at a toxicology research institute (BIBRA, Carshalton, 1982-1992) where I acquired experience in genetic and reproductive toxicology. During this time I also spent a year (1989) as a Scientific Research Fellow at the National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, where I learnt a large range of molecular biology techniques studying food mutagen-induced liver tumourigenesis. Most recently I spent nearly 7 years (1992-1999) at the Institute of Reproductive Medicine of the University of M√ľnster, Germany. This is a centre for basic and clinical research in andrology and my work there encompassed male germ-cell apoptosis (a process of cellular suicide) and male-mediated teratogenicity (the study of abnormalities in the F1 generation following paternal exposure to DNA-damaging agents).


My principal research interest can be summarised as the process and consequences of genetic damage in the male germ-line. Such damage can be induced by a variety of exposures, notably from therapeutic, occupational, recreational and environmental sources. This can have a variety of different effects on spermatogenic cells, including cell-cycle arrest, DNA repair, apoptosis or the fixation of mutations in the genome. These phenomena may affect the fertility or fecundity of the individual but can also result in the transmission of heritable mutation to the F1 generation. Conventionally, it is believed that spontaneously arising, mutations vertically transmitted in this way are the basis for evolutionary change, although the vast majority of observable mutations are deleterious. It is known that organisms are potentially exposed constantly to DNA-damaging agents both from endogenous and exogenous sources. However, it is not yet fully understood how or under what circumstances alterations occur in the germ-line or what might be their consequences.