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Dr Dufton's research centres on the adaptability and plasticity of blood vessels, and particularly the cells that line them, termed endothelial cells are fundamental to both vascular and tissue development, homeostasis and disease pathogenesis. He aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that give rise to disease-associated endothelial phenotypes, such as endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT), in models of inflammation and fibrosis. 

Neil has a keen interest communicating his research through art and public engagement projects. These include an interactive game about cell specialisation, I Cell, working with animator (Genetic Moo) to involve participants in Battle of Blister (part of a Wellcome Large arts grant) and knitting blood vessels (Blood Lines). Neil also produces Sciart and has had his images displayed in the National Geographic, the cover of the Journal of Histopathology and has two of his illustrations curated by the Wellcome Image Collection.



Picture 5
Investigating the diagnostic and drug-screening potential of endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition during liver fibrosis.

Proof-of-Concept Award Emulate-QM Organs-On-Chips Centre. January 2021.

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Regulation of vascular patterning via endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) in the pathogenesis of cardiac fibrosis
BHF funded

Project with BHF Mres/PhD Studentship. September 2023-September 2026

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Investigating the therapeutic potential of disease-associated endothelial cells in chronic liver disease
Funded by Bart's Charity

In collaboration with Dr William Alazawi (co-applicant), Reader & Consultant in Hepatology at the Blizard Institute, this project aims to assess the prevalence and role of endothelial-to-mesenchymal-transition (EndMT) in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). We hypothesis that EndMT is an early, reversible, hallmark of switching from healthy to disease-associated EC that arise during the development of liver disease.

The Dufton group has just been established and will be recruiting soon!


Neil Dufton

Neil Dufton

Group Leader

Christina Gkantsinikoudi

Christina Gkantsinikoudi

PhD student


The transcription factor ERG regulates a low shear stress-induced anti-thrombotic pathway in the microvasculature

Nature Communications, 2019 (10; 5014)

Peghaire C, Dufton NP, Lang M, Salles-Crawley II, Ahnström J, Kalna V, Raimondi C, Pericleous C, Inuabasi L, Kiseleva R, Muzykantov VR, Mason JC, Birdsey GM and Randi AM

The endothelial transcription factor ERG mediates Angiopoietin-1-dependent control of Notch signalling and vascular stability

Nature Communications, 2017 (18; 16002)

Shah AV, Birdsey GM, Peghaire C, Pitulescu ME, Dufton NP, Yang Y, Weinberg I, Osuna Almagro L, Payne L, Mason JC, Gerhardt H, Adams RH and Randi AM

Dynamic regulation of canonical TGFβ signalling by endothelial transcription factor ERG protects from liver fibrogenesis

Nature Communications, 2017 (8; 895)

Dufton NP, Peghaire CR, Osuna-Almagro L, Raimondi C, Kalna V, Chauhan A, Webb G, Yang Y, Birdsey GM, Lalor P, Mason JC, Adams DH and Randi AM

Molecular dynamics studies on the DNA-binding process of ERG

Molecular Biosystems, 2016 (12; 3600-3610)

Beuerle MG, Dufton NP, Randi AM and Gould IR

The endothelial transcription factor ERG promotes vascular stability and growth through Wnt/β-catenin signaling

Developmental Cell, 2015 (32; 82-96)

Birdsey GM, Shah AV, Dufton N, Reynolds LE, Osuna Almagro L, Yang Y, Aspalter IM, Khan ST, Mason JC, Dejana E, Göttgens B, Hodivala-Dilke K, Gerhardt H, Adams RH and Randi AM

Hydrogen sulfide and resolution of acute inflammation: A comparative study utilizing a novel fluorescent probe

Scientific Reports, 2012 (2; 499)

Dufton N, Natividad J, Verdu EF and Wallace JL

Anti-inflammatory role of the murine formyl-peptide receptor 2: ligand-specific effects on leukocyte responses and experimental inflammation

The Journal of Immunology, 2010 (184; 2611-2619)

Dufton N, Hannon R, Brancaleone V, Dalli J, Patel HB, Gray M, D'Acquisto F, Buckingham JC, Perretti M and Flower RJ

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