Centre for Inflammation Research

Professor Neil Henderson

Neil Henderson's lab is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive organ fibrosis, and also the pathways which are responsible for efficient wound healing and healthy tissue regeneration following injury.

Professor Neil Henderson (FMedSci)

Chair of Tissue Repair and Regeneration; Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science; Honorary Consultant Hepatologist

  • Centre for Inflammation Research

Contact details

Group Members

Research Overview

Organ fibrosis (scarring) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and as yet there are no effective anti-fibrotic treatments. My lab is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive organ fibrosis, and also the molecular pathways which are responsible for efficient wound healing and healthy tissue regeneration following injury. By understanding more about how organs scar, heal and regenerate we hope to develop new treatments for patients with organ fibrosis. 

Single-cell genomics approaches are transforming our understanding of disease pathogenesis, allowing interrogation of homeostatic and pathogenic cell populations at unprecedented resolution, and adding an illuminating dimension to transcriptomic information relative to traditional methods that profile bulk cell populations. The single cell genomics field has developed rapidly over the last few years, chiefly because these approaches allow powerful, unbiased exploration of cell states and types at single-cell resolution, resulting in unexpected novel insights into tissue biology and disease mechanisms.  

The convergence of these multi-modal single-cell technologies represent a remarkable opportunity to decode the molecular mechanisms regulating human tissue fibrosis and regeneration at single cell resolution, which we hope will inform and accelerate the development of effective new therapies for patients with fibrotic diseases.

The following PDF provides a brief visual summary of this group’s current research.


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Biographical Profile

Neil Henderson undertook medical training in Edinburgh and London before completing a Wellcome Trust funded PhD at the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, Edinburgh. He then trained in hepatology and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship, during which time he spent a 3 year post-doctoral period based in Dean Sheppard's lab at the University of California, San Francisco, USA. Neil was then awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Clinical Science to investigate mechanisms of organ fibrosis and regeneration, using cutting-edge approaches including the rapidly evolving field of single cell genomics.

Honours and Awards

  • 2022 - Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci)
  • 2022 - United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Research Prize
  • 2022 - Ralph Wright Lecture, British Association for the Study of Liver Disease
  • 2021 - Hans Popper Basic Science State-of-the-Art Lecture, American Association for the Study of Liver Disease
  • 2020 - Renewal of Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Clinical Science
  • 2014 - Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Clinical Science
  • 2014 - Sir Francis Avery Jones British Society of Gastroenterology Research Medal
  • 2014 - United European Gastroenterology Rising Star Award
  • 2013 - British Society of Gastroenterology Research Prize and Plenary Presentation
  • 2009 - Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship
  • 2008 - Dame Sheila Sherlock Research Prize and Lecture, British Association for the Study of the Liver
  • 2005 - The Sue McCarthy and Pushpa Chopra Prizes, Medical Research Society / Academy of Medical Sciences / Royal College of Physicians of London meeting for clinical scientists in training
  • 2004 - Scottish Society of Gastroenterology Anne Ferguson Memorial Prize
  • 2004 - British Association for the Study of the Liver Research prize
  • 2002 - Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellowship


Selected Publications

Multimodal decoding of human liver regeneration. Matchett KP, Wilson-Kanamori JR, Portman JR, Kapourani CA, Fercoq F, May S, Zajdel E, Beltran M, Sutherland EF, Mackey JBG, Brice M, Wilson GC, Wallace SJ, Kitto L, Younger NT, Dobie R, Mole DJ, Oniscu GC, Wigmore SJ, Ramachandran P, Vallejos CA, Carragher NO, Saeidinejad MM, Quaglia A, Jalan R, Simpson KJ, Kendall TJ, Rule JA, Lee WM, Hoare M, Weston CJ, Marioni JC, Teichmann SA, Bird TG, Carlin LM, Henderson NC. Nature. 2024 May 1. doi: 10.1038/s41586-024-07376-2

Spatial genomics: mapping human steatotic liver disease. Matchett KP, Paris J, Teichmann SA, Henderson NC. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2024 Apr 23. doi: 10.1038/s41575-024-00915-2   

Fibrosis: from mechanisms to medicines. Henderson NC, Rieder F, Wynn TA. Nature 2020, Nov;587(7835):555-566. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2938-9  

Decoding myofibroblast origins in human kidney fibrosis. Kuppe C, Ibrahim MM, Kranz J, Zhang X, Ziegler S, Perales-Patón J, Jansen J, Reimer KC, Smith JR, Dobie R, Wilson-Kanamori JR, Halder M, Xu Y, Kabgani N, Kaesler N, Klaus M, Gernhold L, Puelles VG, Huber TB, Boor P, Menzel S, Hoogenboezem RM, Bindels EMJ, Steffens J, Floege J, Schneider RK, Saez-Rodriguez J, Henderson NC*, Kramann R*. Nature 2021, Jan;589(7841):281-286.  doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2941-1. *joint senior authors.

Single-cell technologies in hepatology: new insights into liver biology and disease pathogenesis.  Ramachandran P, Matchett KP, Dobie R, Wilson-Kanamori JR, Henderson NC.  Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020, Jun 1. doi: 10.1038/s41575-020-0304-x  

Resolving the fibrotic niche of human liver cirrhosis at single-cell level.  Ramachandran P, Dobie R, Wilson-Kanamori JR,  Dora EF, Henderson BEP, Luu NT, Portman JR, Matchett KP, Brice M, Marwick JA, Taylor RS, Efremova M, Vento-Tormo R, Carragher NO, Kendall TJ, Fallowfield JA, Harrison EM, Mole DJ, Wigmore SJ, Newsome PN, C. JWeston J, Iredale JP, Tacke F, Pollard JW, Ponting CP, Marioni JC, Teichmann SA, Henderson NC.  Nature 2019, Nov 21. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1631-3  

Single-cell transcriptomics uncovers zonation of function in the mesenchyme during liver fibrosis.  Dobie R, Wilson-Kanamori JR, Henderson BE, Smith JR, Matchett KP, Portman JR, Wallenborg K, Picelli S, Zagorska A, Pendem SV, Hudson TE, Wu MM, Budas GR, Breckenridge DG, Harrison EM, Mole DJ, Wigmore SJ, Ramachandran P, Ponting CP, Teichmann SA, Marioni JC, Henderson NC.  Cell Reports 2019, Nov 12. doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.10.024

αv integrins on mesenchymal cells regulate skeletal and cardiac muscle fibrosis.  Murray IR, Gonzalez ZN, Baily J, Dobie R, Wallace RJ, Mackinnon AC, Smith JR, Greenhalgh SN, Thompson AI, Conroy KP, Griggs DW, Ruminski PG, Gray GA, Singh M, Campbell MA, Kendall TJ, Dai J, Li Y, Iredale JP, Simpson H, Huard J, Péault B, Henderson NC.  Nature Communications 2017, Oct 24.  doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01097-z   

Targeting of αv integrin identifies a core molecular pathway that regulates fibrosis in several organs.  Henderson NC, Arnold TD, Katamura Y, Giacomini MM, J Rodriguez JD, McCarty JH, Pellicoro A, Raschperger E, Betsholtz C, Ruminski PG, Griggs DW, Prinsen MJ, Maher JJ, Iredale JP, Lacy-Hulbert A, Adams RH, Sheppard D.  Nature Medicine 2013, Dec. doi: 10.1038/nm.3282

View all 82 publications on Research Explorer

Sources of Funding

More information on funding at Neil Henderson's Research Explorer profile