Neil completed his doctoral training with Professor Tom Blundell at Birkbeck College where he determined the structure of nerve growth factor (NGF), the first example of a 'cystine knot' fold. He then moved to New York for his postdoctoral training in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University.
He was awarded a prestigious Lucille P. Markey Scholarship to study ciliary neurotrophic factor and its receptors in the laboratory of Professor Wayne A. Hendrikson.
After his postdoctoral fellowship, he moved back to London to join the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) London Research Institute (now part of the Francis Crick Institute) as a group leader in 1994. He also has held a chair at Birkbeck College since 2006.
His research interests lie in the structural biology of growth factor signaling, with a major focus on defining molecular mechanisms controlling protein kinase and protein phosphatase activation. He is particularly interested in the activation and deregulation of the RET receptor tyrosine kinase and AGC protein kinases.
Neil has contributed to several CRUK and Wellcome-funded drug discovery programs, including one that has delivered a first-in-class, pre-clinical candidate against a known cancer target.