My current work in Dr Karen Piper Hanley’s group at the University of Manchester aims to identify mechanisms that regulate the pathological deposition of extracellular matrix components by hepatic stellate cells (HSC) during liver fibrosis. Collaboration with Professor Derek Mann’s group at Newcastle University allowed me to learn how to isolate primary HSC and establish this technique in Manchester. We have since used culture activation of HSC as a model to identify novel targets and upstream signalling mechanisms for the transcription factor SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 9 (SOX9) during fibrosis. To support this work I was awarded a Manchester BRC travel scholarship to visit Professor Scott Friedman’s laboratory at Mount Sinai Medical Centre, New York. This was a unique opportunity to work with a world leader in liver fibrosis, and allowed me to gain valuable experience of in vivo surgical techniques for the study of liver fibrosis. This included bile duct ligation & partial hepatectomy, which we are now using to study the effects of abolishing Sox9 expression during liver fibrosis in vivo.