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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences
Phone:
(023) 8120 6826
Email:
N.R.Smyth@soton.ac.uk

Dr Neil Smyth BVSc, PhD

Reader in Development and Cell Biology, Principal Investigator (Extracellular matrix)

Dr Neil Smyth's photo

Dr Neil Smyth is Reader in Development and Cell Biology within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. He is a member of the Developmental Biology Theme within Biological Sciences (Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences), and is part of the Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration (Medicine).

His specific interest is in how extracellular matrix interacts with cells in the formation of tissues and organs during development, adulthood and disease.

Career History

2009-present: Reader in Development and Cell Biology. University of Southampton, UK.
2007-2009: Lecturer in Development and Cell Biology. University of Southampton, UK.
1997-2007: Lecturer in Biochemistry. University of Cologne, Germany.
1993-1997: Research Fellow. Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany.

Academic Qualifications

1993: PhD. University of Liverpool, UK.
1988: BSc. University of Liverpool, UK.

Research interests

My research has focused upon two linked topics

1/The structure and function of the extracellular matrix, in particular the actions and importance of a specialised matrix, the basement membrane. Basement membranes are crucial in development and have been shown highly significant in many developmental processes especially in the early embryo. I have studied the roles of its constituent proteins, their receptors and modulator proteins. With an emphasis on structure-function relationships I have used in vivo and in vitro genetic approaches to determine protein function, following initial biochemical findings. Using biochemical, biophysical, cell-biological and developmental biological assays I try to determine the in vivo significance of the basement membrane and its constituent proteins in physiological and pathological situations.

2/Embryo environment and health, principally how the environment of the preimplantation embryo can influence its development and future long-term potential. In particular, how maternal diet (in vivo) or IVF-related culture conditions (in vitro) can affect blastocyst development including gene expression patterns, cell proliferation and cellular phenotype. We principally use mouse models to understand changes in man. We derive embryonic, trophectodermal and epiblastic stem cell lines to further characterise environmental effects on developmental potential. We also examine long-term consequences of rodent preimplantation environment on subsequent growth and gene expression. Our studies use a range of molecular, epigenetic, cellular and physiological technologies.

I have strong links with the Faculty of Medicine at Southampton, particularly staff within The Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration (CHDSCR).

PhD Supervision

Current:

Irene Peral Sanchez (CoSV, Medicine)
Eda Sezer (CoSV, Medicine)
Matthew MacGregor Sharp (CoSV, Medicine)

Completed since 2011:

Laura Caetano (CoSV, EU) 2020
Abby Charlotte Keable (CoSV, BBSRC) 2019
Yi-Lung Chang (Main SV, Overseas) 2018
Pooja Khurana (CoSV, Marie-Curie ESR, EU) 2018
Anan Aljahdali (CoSV, Overseas) 2017
Ili Raja Khalif (CoSV, Overseas) 2016
Peter Stewart Boyd (CoSV, Unilever) 2014
Congshun Sun (CoSV, University + Private) 2014
Andy Cox (Main SV, BBSRC) 2013
Thomas Secker (CoSV, BBSRC) 2013

Research group

Developmental Biology

Affiliate research groups

Neuroscience, Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Microbiology

Research project(s)

Linking perturbed maternal environment during periconceptional development, due to diabetes, obesity or assisted reproductive technologies, and altered health during ageing

Mechanisms by which assisted conception treatments may affect embryo development and health into adulthood.

EpiHealthNet: Environment during periconceptional development, due to diabetes, obesity or assisted reproductive technologies, and altered health during ageing

Effects of assisted conception treatments on embryo development and health into adulthood.

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Dr Neil Smyth
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
Southampton
SO17 1BJ

Room Number NNN: SGH/LD62B

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