Professor Neil Hotchin BSc PhD

Professor Neil Hotchin

School of Biosciences
Professor in Molecular Cell Biology

Contact details

507A, School of Biosciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Hotchin is a molecular cell biologist with an interest in how cells interact with their immediate environment and how those interactions regulate functions such as cell proliferation, migration and differentiation. He has published a number of high impact papers on the role of small GTP-binding proteins in control of cell function and, more recently, on the role of membrane tyrosine phosphatases in control of cell adhesion and migration. In addition to his research and teaching activities, Professor Hotchin is also Deputy Director of Postgraduate Studies for the University of Birmingham.


BSc (University of York)

PhD (University of London)


Professor Neil Hotchin was born in Lincolnshire and did his first degree in Biology at the University of York. His PhD at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School (now part of Imperial College) was on the role of Epstein Barr Virus in the development of Burkitt’s Lymphoma. After his PhD he worked as a postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Imperial Research Cancer Research Fund (now the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute) where he first became interested in how cell adhesion to extracellular matrix regulates cell function. He continued this work in the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology at University College London before moving to Birmingham to set up his own research group. 


Professor Hotchin teaches cell biology on a number of first and second year courses and runs a final year module on Cancer Biology. He also teaches on a number of postgraduate level courses.

Postgraduate supervision

For a list of possible PhD projects offered by Professor Hotchin: 


Research Theme within School of Biosciences: Molecular and Cell Biology

Throughout the life of an organism cells must 'sample' their environment and take decisions accordingly. Many cellular functions require the integration of adhesion-mediated signals with those received via growth factor receptors. Identifying the nature of these signals and the mechanism by which they are integrated is essential to the understanding of how normal cellular function is regulated.

Regulation of Epidermal Cell Function by Rho Family GTPases

The epidermis is a self-renewing epithelial tissue comprised of several layers of keratinocytes and provides the protective function of the skin. Normal epidermal function requires that keratinocyte proliferation, differentiation and death be carefully controlled. Signalling through adhesion receptors such as integrins and cadherins plays a key role in regulating epidermal function and the Rho family of small GTP-binding proteins play a central role in regulating these adhesion-dependent signaling events. We are particularly interested in understanding how Rho GTPases regulate keratinocyte cell function in both the normal epidermis and in non-melanoma skin cancer.

Regulation of cell signalling by LAR membrane tyrosine phosphatase

Leucocyte common antigen-related protein (LAR; also known as PTPRF) is a widely expressed membrane bound protein tyrosine phosphatase that is known to interact with extracellular matrix proteins and regulate signalling from growth factor receptors. Recently, we have used an unbiased phospho-proteomics approach to analyse LAR-regulated signalling and established that the non-receptor tyrosine kinase c-Abl is a substrate for LAR and that LAR regulates signalling via Akt and mTOR. In addition, we identified that LAR regulates of cell adhesion to extracellular matrix via a novel pathway involving Akt and CDK1.

Other activities

Professor Neil Hotchin has been an Editor for PLoS ONE since 2007.


Sarhan, AR, Szyroka J, Begum S, Tomlinson MG, Hotchin NA, Heath JK, Cunningham DL (2017). Quantitative phosphoproteomics reveals a role for Collapsin Response Mediator Protein 2 in PDGF-induced cell migration. Sci. Rep. 7, 3970

Sarhan AR, Patel TR, Tomlinson MG, Hellberg C, Heath JK, Cunningham DL, Hotchin NA (2016). LAR Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Regulates Focal Adhesions via Cdk1. J. Cell Sci. 129, 2962-2971

Rashid AR, Patel TR, Heath JK, Hellberg C, Tomlinson MG, Hotchin NA, Cunningham DL (2016). LAR Phosphatase Regulates PDGF Dependent mTOR and JNK Signalling Pathways: A Quantitative Phosphoproteomics Study. Mol. Cell. Proteomics 15, 1823-1836 

Clarke K, Daubon T, Turan N, Soulet F, Zahari MM, Ryan KR, Durant S, He S, Herbert J, Ankers J, Heath JK, Bjerkvig R, Bicknell R, Hotchin NA*, Bikfalvi A*, Falciani F*. (2015). Inference of Low and High-Grade Glioma Gene Regulatory Networks Delineates the Role of Rnd3 in Establishing Multiple Hallmarks of Cancer. PLOS Genet. 11, e1005325 (* joint senior authors) 

Scales TM, Jayo A, Obara B, Holt MR, Hotchin NA, Berditchevski F and Parsons M (2013). a3b1 integrins regulate CD151 complex assembly and membrane dynamics in carcinoma cells within 3D environments. Oncogene 32, 3965-3979.

Lim J, Thompson J, May RC, Hotchin NA and Caron E. (2013). Regulator of G-Protein Signalling-14 (RGS-14) regulates the activation of aMb2 integrin during phagocytosis. PLOS ONE 8, e69163.

Lock FE, Ryan KR, Poulter NS, Parsons M, Hotchin NA (2012) Differential Regulation of Adhesion Complex Turnover by ROCK1 and ROCK2. PLOS ONE 7, e31423. 

Ryan KR, Lock FE, Heath JK, Hotchin NA. (2012). Plakoglobin-dependent regulation of keratinocyte apoptosis by Rnd3. J. Cell Sci125, 3202-3209.

Lim J and Hotchin NA (2012). Signalling mechanisms of the leukocyte integrin aMb2: Current and future perspectives. Biol. Cell 104, 631-640. 

Lim J, Hotchin NA, Caron E (2011). Ser756 of β2 integrin controls Rap1 activity during inside-out activation of αMβ2. Biochem. J. 437, 461-467.

Lock FE and Hotchin NA (2009). Distinct roles for ROCK1 and ROCK2 in the regulation of keratinocyte differentiation. PLOS ONE 4, e8190.

Brookes MJ, Boult J, Roberts K, Cooper BT, Hotchin NA, Matthews G, Iqbal T, Tselepis C (2008). A role for iron in Wnt signaling. Oncogene 27, 966-975.

Turner FE, Broad S, Khanim FL, Jeanes A, Talma S, Hughes S, Tselepis C, Hotchin NA (2006). Slug regulates integrin expression and cell proliferation in human epidermal keratinocytes. J. Biol. Chem281, 21321-21331.

Latysheva N, Muratov G, Rajesh S, Padgett M, Hotchin NA, Overduin M, Berditchevski F (2006). Syntenin-1 is a new component of tetraspanin-enriched microdomains: mechanisms and consequences of the interaction of syntenin-1 with CD63. Mol.Cell Biol. 20, 7707-7718.

Sawada S,Yoshimoto M, Odintsova E, Hotchin NA and Berditchevski F (2003). The tetraspanin CD151 functions as a negative regulator in the adhesion-dependent activation of Ras. J. Biol. Chem. 278, 26323-26326.

McMullan R, Lax S, Robertson VH, Radford DR, Broad S, Watt FM, Rowles A, Croft DR, Olson MF and Hotchin NA (2003). Keratinocyte differentiation is regulated by the Rho and ROCK signaling pathway. Curr. Biol.13, 2185-2189.

Akhtar N and Hotchin NA (2001). RAC1 regulates adherens junctions through endocytosis of E-cadherin. Mol. Biol. Cell 12, 847-862.

Hotchin NA, Cover TL and Akhtar N (2000). Cell vacuolation induced by the VacA cytotoxin of Helicobacter pylori is regulated by the Rac1 GTPase. J. Biol. Chem. 275, 14009-14012.

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