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Dr Mark Johnson

Dr Mark Johnson is a consultant in neonatal medicine.

PhD, BM (Hons), BSc (Hons), FRCPCH


Training and education

Dr Johnson graduated in medicine (BM) from the University of Southampton in 2004, and undertook an intercalated degree in biomedical science (BSc) during his medical training. He went on to complete his training in paediatrics and sub-specialise in neonatal medicine in the Wessex region, including Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester.

During his training, Dr Johnson was an NIHR (National Institute of Health Research) academic clinical fellow. He was later awarded a prestigious NIHR doctoral research fellowship to fund his PhD, which he was awarded by the University of Southampton in 2015. Dr Johnson’s PhD focused on change management in neonatal care in the context of nutrition, successfully implementing improved nutritional practices in order to improve the growth of preterm infants.


Dr Johnson is a consultant in neonatal medicine who joined the Trust in 2016. He has also been made an honorary senior clinical lecturer in neonatal medicine at the University of Southampton.

Dr Johnson’s main area of interest is nutrition, and he's currently one of two neonatal consultants carrying out weekly multidisciplinary nutrition ward rounds on the neonatal unit. He's also the lead for the implementation of the clinical information system (electronic patient record) on the neonatal unit.

Dr Johnson is responsible for the collection and submission of the neonatal unit data for the Vermont Oxford Network, an international collaboration of over 900 neonatal units worldwide. The units share data on outcomes in order to identify areas for improvements and share best practice to help address them.

Dr Johnson is currently the lead for education and training for the nutrition theme of the Southampton National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre.

As a member of the national NIHR Medicines for Children Research Network neonatal clinical studies group, Dr Johnson helps provides oversight for neonatal research in the UK. He's also a member of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine working groups on parenteral nutrition (intravenous feeding) and training in research methods. He was recently appointed to the European Society for Pediatric Research (ESPR) Nutrition Section Committee.

Key achievements

  • Awarded National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) doctoral research fellowship in September 2012 and awarded PhD in 2015
  • Member of British Association of Perinatal Medicine working group on parenteral nutrition in neonatal units, co-authoring a national framework for practice for parenteral nutrition
  • Advisor to the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency on bioimpedance spectroscopy in infants (attended consultants' meeting at the IAEA headquarters, United Nations International Centre, Vienna)
  • Lead for education and training for the nutrition theme of the Southampton NIHR Biomedical Research Centre
  • Honorary senior clinical lecturer in neonatal medicine at the University of Southampton

Awards and prizes

  • Neonatal Society Young Investigator Award 2016
  • Won prize for best research poster at NIHR trainees meeting, Leeds, 2013
  • Led the winning team in research communication skill challenge at NIHR Training Camp for Biomedical Research Centre/Unit fellows, July 2012


Dr Johnson's research centres around the nutritional care and growth of premature babies, and the implementation of practice change in order to improve care. He's currently supervising two PhD students who are looking at ways to improve care in both the neonatal unit and the emergency departments.

Dr Johnson has published his work in over 14 peer reviewed journals. This includes systematic reviews looking at:

  • systematic reviews into which professional interventions are most successful in changing clinical practice
  • the use of early parenteral nutrition in preterm infants
  • the impact of enhanced nutrition on the neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm infants
  • the effect of preterm birth on body composition and growth.

Dr Johnson has also written on topics which include:

  • nutritional assessment in children and premature babies
  • neonatal nutritional screening
  • the assessment of growth in premature babies.

Dr Johnson is also the local lead investigator for two national multicentre randomised controlled trials of feeding practices and feed supplements. The studies are aimed at improving outcomes for premature babies.


You can contact Dr Johnson via the neonatal secretaries, Amanda Binns and Lesley Freemantle, on 023 8120 4643 or by email.