John received MEng and PhD degrees from the University of Sheffield, followed by postdoctoral work at Imperial College London. His research focused on structure-mechanical property relationships in metals, glasses and ceramics. John joined Nature Research as an editor for Nature Communications in 2013 followed by editorial positions at Nature Materials and the Nature Partner Journals, where he oversaw journals in the physical, life and social sciences. In August 2019 he became the launch Chief Editor for Communications Materials. John has been based in the Shanghai office since 2015.