Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Professor of Neurology and Genomic Medicine



m.johnson Website




E419Burlington DanesHammersmith Campus





I am Professor of Neurology and Genomic Medicine at Imperial College London and Acting Head of the Division of Neurology in the Department of Brain Sciences, Imperial College. I am an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. 

My research focuses on the use of computational biology and systems genetics to identify cell-type specific causal functional pathways and novel drug targets for human brain disease and traits. 

Our key methodologies include single-cell transcriptomics of the human brain, single-cell Mendelian randomisation for causal inference, and integrative multi-model genomics. We aim to identify novel therapeutic opportunities which cannot be captured using traditional reductionist scientific methods. 

My research is primarily funded by the UK Medical Research Council. I have a strong track record of successful collaboration with Pharma including current active collaborations with UCB (epilepsy) and Roche (Parkinson's disease). 

My clinical activity is in general neurology and epilepsy with a particular focus on the autoimmune and tumor-associated epilepsies. I am a member of the Imperial College Healthcare neuro-oncology multidisciplinary team. 

I am a member of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Task Force on Epigenetics, the Epi4K, Epi25K, EpiPGx and EPITARGET international consortia for epilepsy research, and I sit on the Steering Committee for the ILAE Genomics Consortium for Complex Epilepsies. I have previously advised the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, and currently advise the UK Parliamentary Health Ombudsman and Motorsport UK (MSUK). 

Professional Memberships:

Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP)
Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP)
Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine
Member of the Association of British Neurologists
Member of the British Medical Association
Member of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE)


Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Laaniste L, Srivastava P, Stylianou T, et al., 2019, Integrated systems-genetic analyses reveal a network target for delaying glioma progression, Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, Vol:6, ISSN:2328-9503, Pages:1616-1638

The International League Against Epilepsy Consortium on Complex Epilepsies, 2018, Genome-wide mega-analysis identifies 16 loci and highlights diverse biological mechanisms in the common epilepsies, Nature Communications, Vol:9, ISSN:2041-1723

Srivastava P, van Eyll J, Godard P, et al., 2018, A systems-level framework for drug discovery identifies Csf1R as an anti-epileptic drug target, Nature Communications, Vol:9, ISSN:2041-1723

Speed D, Cai N, Johnson MR, et al., 2017, Reevaluation of SNP heritability in complex human traits, Nature Genetics, Vol:49, ISSN:1061-4036, Pages:986-992

Srivastava PK, Bagnati M, Delahaye-Duriez A, et al., 2017, Genome-wide analysis of differential RNA editing in epilepsy, Genome Research, Vol:27, ISSN:1549-5469, Pages:440-450

Symonds JD, Zuberi SM, Johnson MR, 2017, Advances in epilepsy gene discovery and implications for epilepsy diagnosis and treatment, Current Opinion in Neurology, Vol:30, ISSN:1350-7540, Pages:193-199

Allen AS, Bellows ST, Berkovic SF, et al., 2017, Ultra-rare genetic variation in common epilepsies: a case-control sequencing study, Lancet Neurology, Vol:16, ISSN:1474-4422, Pages:135-143

Delahaye-Duriez A, Srivastava P, Shkura K, et al., 2016, Rare and common epilepsies converge on a shared gene regulatory network providing opportunities for novel antiepileptic drug discovery, Genome Biology, Vol:17, ISSN:1474-760X

Johnson MR, Shkura K, Langley SR, et al., 2016, Systems genetics identifies a convergent gene network for cognition and neurodevelopmental disease, Nature Neuroscience, Vol:19, ISSN:1546-1726, Pages:223-232

Johnson MR, Behmoaras J, Bottolo L, et al., 2015, Systems genetics identifies Sestrin 3 as a regulator of a proconvulsant gene network in human epileptic hippocampus, Nature Communications, Vol:6, ISSN:2041-1723

Speed D, O'Brien TJ, Palotie A, et al., 2014, Describing the genetic architecture of epilepsy through heritability analysis, Brain, Vol:137, ISSN:1460-2156, Pages:2680-2689

International League Against Epilepsy Consortium on Complex Epilepsies, 2014, Genetic determinants of common epilepsies: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies, Lancet Neurology, Vol:13, ISSN:1474-4465, Pages:893-903

Speed D, Hoggart C, Petrovski S, et al., 2014, Genome-wide association study and biological pathway analysis of epilepsy prognosis in a prospective cohort of newly treated epilepsy, Human Molecular Genetics

Andrew S. Allen1, Samuel F. Berkovic2, Patrick Cossette3, et al., 2013, De novo mutations in epileptic encephalopathies, Nature, Vol:501, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:217-221

Schneider SA, Irani SR, Stagg CJ, et al., 2013, Faciobrachial dystonic seizures: the influence ofimmunotherapy on seizure control and preventionof cognitive impairment in a broadening phenotype, Brain, Vol:136, ISSN:0006-8950, Pages:3151-3162

Speed D, Hemani G, Johnson MR, et al., 2012, Improved heritability estimation from genome-wide SNP data., American Journal of Human Genetics, Vol:91

Johnson MR, Shorvon SD, 2011, Heredity in epilepsy: Neurodevelopment, comorbidity, and the neurological trait, Epilepsy & Behavior, Vol:22, ISSN:1525-5050, Pages:421-427

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