Derek began his scientific career at Hull General Hospital as a blood transfusion & haematology technician before studying for his BSc and PhD in London. He began his research career in neurobiology focusing on control of neuronal gene expression before moving to the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge where he worked on the control of HIV gene expression. In 1994 he took up a lectureship at the University of Southampton where he became interested in the biology of liver fibrosis, a field in which he established his international academic career. In 2006 he moved with his research team to Newcastle University (NU) where he set up and has built the Newcastle Fibrosis Research Group (NFRG) (https://research.ncl.ac.uk/fibrosislab/) which takes a multi-organ and interdisciplinary approach to research on chronic disease. Over the past 15 years the NFRG has developed programmes of work on the molecular biology of fibrosis, inflammageing and its role in liver disease and more recently the immunobiology of liver cancer with a specific focus on neutrophils as targets for improving immunotherapy. Derek's expertise in the epigenetic regulation of liver fibrosis will be a particularly valuable contribution to the consortium.