Professor Marcus Pembrey is a Patron of the Progress Educational Trust (PET), where he previously served as Chair of Trustees for more than 20 years. He was a member of PET's precursor organisation, the Progress Campaign for Research into Human Reproduction, and went on to found PET together with Dr Virginia Bolton and Viscount Janric Craigavon. He is Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Genetics at University College London's Institute of Child Health, Visiting Professor of Paediatric Genetics at the University of Bristol, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was previously Consultant Adviser in Genetics to the Chief Medical Officer at the UK Government's Department of Health, President of the European Society of Human Genetics, Vice Dean of the Institute of Child Health, and a Consultant Clinical Geneticist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.
Marcus cofounded the International Federation of Human Genetic Societies, and his group helped to pioneer the use of DNA testing in genetic counselling and prenatal diagnosis within the services provided to families threatened by serious genetic disease. Alongside his research into rare genetic syndromes showing unusual patterns of inheritance, he helped Professor Jean Golding establish the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children - also known as 'Children of the 90s' - and subsequently became that project's Director of Genetics. He has written more than 150 peer-reviewed papers in journals including Cell, the Lancet, Nature and Science, as well as writing textbooks and guides for the general public. The focus of his current research is environmental epigenomics and transgenerational responses, and he writes, speaks and broadcasts widely on this area for both expert and lay audiences.