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Professor John Aplin (MA, PhD) - personal details

Contact details

Professor John Aplin

Role: Professor of Reproductive Biomedicine

Tel: +44 (0)161 276 6487


Maternal and Fetal Health Research Group
The University of Manchester
5th Floor Research
St Mary's Hospital
M13 9WL

Fax: 0161 701 6971




As a Part II Chemistry undergraduate in Oxford, I became interested in biological chemistry. I moved to Vancouver and as a PhD student with Laurie Hall, developed biophysical approaches to investigating surface topography. Realising that surface glycoconjugates were important in cell-cell communication, I moved to MRC's laboratories at Mill Hill in London to work with Colin Hughes and learn about the biology of cell adhesion. Inspired by the possibility of applying new cell biological concepts to human pathophysiology, I moved to Manchester to a joint appointment between Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Biological Sciences. Most of my reproductive biology is self-taught, though Harold Fox's course on gynaecological pathology was a formative experience; Carolyn Jones, his former student, has been a staunch and resourceful colleague.  Stanley Glasser at Baylor, in whose lab I spent a sabbatical period,  was a kind and persuasive mentor.  I acted as senior editor for the monograph The Endometrium (2008), a project first inspired by Stan:


I currently supervise 9 PhD students and act as advisor to a further two students.  Two esteemed senior colleagues have recently been awarded advanced research degrees under my supervision.  I welcome enquiries from students wishing to study for a higher research degree in the general areas of pregnancy or infertility.

I direct the masters programmes in Maternal and Fetal Health (MRes MFH and MMed Sci (MFH)), and supervise projects for the students:

Undergraduate teaching includes a long tenure as Unit Coordinator for the popular final year Life Sciences course Human Reproductive Biology.    I teach glycobiology to final year life sciences students and reproductive physiology to first year MBChB students.  Tutorial responsibilities include a final year group in Biomedical Sciences.  The laboratory hosts undergraduate students from FLS and FMHS for special study modules, dissertations and/or project placements.

From 2013 I have been on the teaching faculty of the annual placenta postgraduate workshop in Kingston, Ontario:

I practice and teach Iyengar yoga, including both general classes and gentler classes for students with problems including back trouble.  In recent years this has also become a research activity.