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.