Prof John Martin

Prof John MartinTel: 020 3447 7139
Fax: 020 7679 6379

University College Hospital

General Medicine

Professional background

Professor John Martin studied philosophy in Spain before qualifying from Sheffield University Medical School in 1973.  To become a clinician scientist he pursued clinical and scientific training in parallel, first in the UK and then in Australia, being accredited clinically in cardiology and general internal medicine.  He generated original hypotheses concerning the physiology of platelets and how they may be involved causally in the syndrome of myocardial infarction. In 1986 he set up a unique arrangement combining an academic clinical career at King’s College London, with the post of Head of Cardiovascular Research at the Wellcome Foundation Research Laboratories.   In 1996 the Chair was transferred to University College London, where he is Director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine.  He led the foundation of the Institute of Cardiovascular Science at University College London and initiated and leads the Yale UCL Collaborative, which was formally recognised in a Framework Agreement signed in Yale by all parties on 8 October 2009.   He has been appointed Professor Adjunct in Cardiology at Yale.

Research interests

Study of the biology of the arterial wall led him to propose that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) had an arterioprotective role independent of its angiogenic role.  Having patented this mechanism he co-founded the biotechnology company Ark Therapeutics, now listed on the London Stock Exchange.  This company has taken those novel ideas through into a Phase III clinical trial in gene therapy; using this process as an example, he has preached the importance of academics patenting discoveries.  He was a finalist in the European Commission Descartes Prize in 2004 for his work on gene therapy with VEGF.


David AL, Torondel B, Zachary I, Wigley V, Nader KA, Mehta V, Buckley SMK, Cook T, Boyd M, Rodeck CH, Martin J, Peebles SM.  Local delivery of VEGF adenovirus to the uterine artery increases vasorelaxation and uterine blood flow in the pregnant sheep.  Gene Ther 2008;19:1344-50.

Khurana R, Zhuang Z, Murakami M, Bhardwaj S, Zachary I, Ferrara N, Yla-Herttuala, de Muinck E Martin JF, Simons M.   Angiogenesis-dependent and independent phases of neointimal hyperplasia.  Circulation 2004;110:2436-43.

Smith RE, Robinson NM, McPeake JR, Baylis SA, Charles IG, Heaton ND, Moncada S, Williams R, Martin JF.  Induction and role of NO synthase in hypotensive hepatic failure.  Arterioscler, Thromb Vasc Biol 1997;17:3079-82.

Martin JF, Bath PMW, Burr ML.  Influence of platelet size on outcome after myocardial infarction.  Lancet 1991;338:1409-11.   (Lancet “classic citation”)

Cramer EM, Breton-Gorius J, Beesley JE, Martin JF.  Ultrastructural demonstration of tubular inclusions coinciding with von Willebrand factor in pig megakaryocytes.  Blood 1988;71:1533-8.

GMC/GDC number: 1617735