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 in the Department of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London, and a previous Deputy Head of the Centre for Clinical Translation in the Division of Neurosciences. 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 pathways and novel drug targets for human brain disease and behaviour. 

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

I am a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP), Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), Member of the UK Association of British Neurologists (ABN), Member of the British Medical Association (BMA) and Member of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE). 

My research has benefited from grants from the UK research councils, charity foundations, the EU and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. I have a strong track record of successful commercial collaboration with extensive funding from Pharma including grants currently from UCB and Roche. 

I remain clinically active in the fields of 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 and the Epi4K, Epi25K, EpiPGx and EPITARGET international consortia for epilepsy research. I sit on the Steering Committee for the ILAE Genomics Consortium for Complex Epilepsies. I have previously advised the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, and I currently advise the UK Parliamentary Health Ombudsman. 

I am a co-founder of Cosyne Therapeutics ( and have previously sat on the Scientific Advisory Board of Healx ( 


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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