Professor Mary Herbert

Professor of Reproductive Biology


As Professor of Reproductive Biology with an Honorary Consultant Clinical Scientist post with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, I lead a team of clinical and research scientists working side by side in a programme of basic, translational and clinical science.

Research Focus

The close integration of clinical and research scientists is a cornerstone of the research programme in my lab. We aim to advance knowledge in the biology of germ cells and early embryos with a view to:

(i) improving the treatment and understanding of infertility
(ii) extending the scope of reproductive technologies to prevent transmission of disease.

The fertilised zygote inherits its nuclear DNA from the male and female gametes – the oocyte and the sperm, which become haploid during a specialised form of cell division known as meiosis. By contrast, mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the oocyte, which contains some hundreds of thousands of copies. Our research encompasses the inheritance of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.