Neil Hanley graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1993 with a MBChB in Medicine and Surgery, and a BSc Hons in Pharmacology.  After 'House jobs', he moved to Newcastle to complete early internal medicine postgraduate training and MRCP, after which he began a PhD in Molecular Genetics as a Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellow.  Two years of the PhD were spent with Dr Keith Parker at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, USA.  He returned to the UK in 2000 to the University of Southampton, completing speciality training in Endocrinology and Diabetes in 2004 whilst an NIHR Clinician Scientist.  He was awarded a personal Chair in 2006 and moved to a Chair of Medicine at the University of Manchester in 2008, as part of the Manchester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in Genetics & Developmental Medicine at the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT).  In 2009, he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship in Clinical Science.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Member of the Society for Endocrinology

  • Endocrine Society
  • BMA
  • Association of Physicians
  • UK National Stem Cell Network Advisory Committee
  • JDRF Scientific Advisory Board Member
  • NIHR Trainees Co-ordinating Centre Fellowship Panel


  • Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Clinical Sicence
  • Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist at Manchester Royal Infirmary
  • Associate Director of Training & Education, Manchester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre


PhD (University of Newcastle)

  • MRCP (Royal College of Physicians)
  • MBChB in Medicine and Surgery (University of Edinburgh)
  • BSc Hons in Pharmacology (University of Edinburgh)

Research interests

Neil researches human developmental biology, focusing on endocrinology, and associated aspects of stem cell biology.  This has included sex determination and adrenal gland development, and more latterly how these events and hormone action impact on sexual differentiation.  A major interest in his laboratory now is how beta cells develop in the pancreas.  Understanding development is relevant to cell replacement and regeneration of beta cells as novel therapy for diabetes.  This includes particular focus on the transcription factor, SOX9, where his group collaborates with that of Dr Karen Piper Hanley. It is emerging that SOX9 plays a major role in regulating extracellular matrix components both during development and in disease such as fibrosis.  Investigating SOX9 during pancreas development is the topic of his current fellowship in affiliation with reserachers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research.  Neil is also part of the Stem Cells for Safer Medicine consortium looking at foregut endoderm differentiation (ie pancreas and liver) with the ultimate goal of generating hepatocyte-like cells for drug toxicity screening.  This latter work is in collaboration with colleagues at the MRC Centre in Drug Safety Science at the University of Liverpool.

Research profile


Neil is Associate Director of Training & Education for the Manchester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre with the goal of maximising opportunities in academic medicine for clinical trainees.  He also sits on the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre Fellowship Panel for postdoctoral, career development and senior awards.  He has taught all aspects of undergraduate and postgraduate endocrinology and is author, with Professor Richard Holt (University of Southampton), of 'Essential Endocrinology & Diabetes', a textbook published by Wiley-Blackwell, the latest edition of which has sold over 5,000 copies worldwide.

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