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Theory of Living Matter Group


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Amunts, Alexey

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Personal website

  • Structural biology
  • Physicochemical properties of protein synthesis
  • Protein organization in biological membranes
My research aims to establish fundamental principles of transmembrane protein synthesis in mitochondria using single particle electron cryo-microscopy.

Baker, Ruth

University of Oxford

Personal website

  • Cell and developmental biology
  • Mathematical and computational modelling
  • Stochastic methods
  • Inference
Developing and applying novel mathematical/computational methodologies and modelling frameworks for investigating developmental biology systems at the cell and tissue level.

Bauer, Marianne

Arnold Sommerfeld Center for Theoretical Physics, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich


  • Pattern formation
  • Evolutionary game theory and population dynamics
  • Cold atoms
I am interested in applying the tools from Condensed Matter Physics and my undergraduate in Chemistry to problems in the biological life sciences. I will be working towards a better understanding of population dynamics and evolution in biological or biochemical model systems.

Bono, Mario de

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Personal website

  • Molecular basis for neural properties
  • How neurons function in networks to generate behaviour
  • Genetic dissection of behaviour
We combine genetics, genomics, neural imaging, optogenetics, videotracking - in fact anything we think is useful - to understand how nervous systems generate behavior. We have tried some modelling and would like to do more.

Croze, Otti

Winton Programme for the
Physics of Sustainability, Cavendish Laboratory

Personal website

  • Swimming bacteria and algae
  • Biofluid mechanics, algal photobioreactors
  • Bacterial migration in porous media, bioremediation
  • Microbial ecology, biophysical aspects of symbiosis
Using theory and experiment, I study the biophysics of swimming microorganisms in environments inspired by bioengineering and microbial ecology. I collaborate closely with biologists and engineers.

Greulich, Philip

Department of Mathematical Sciences,
University of Southampton


  • Stem cell population dynamics in adult tissue
  • Bacterial population genetics
  • Antibiotic pharmacodynamics: interplay of biochemistry and cell physiology
  • Traffic phenomena in gene transcription and translation
Philip theoretically studies biological systems with methods from statistical physics, in particular by using stochastic processes to model complex dynamics. On the one hand his research aims at improving the understanding of complex phenomena in biological systems (like phase transitions and critical phenomena). On the other hand, he works together with experimentalists to test and fit models on statistical data of cell populations (stem cells and bacteria) to infer underlying rules and paramters of cell dynamics.

Guy, Joe

National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke,
Cambridge University Biochemistry Department


  • MRI
  • Pre-clinical imaging
Joe manages a trans-atlantic collaboration between laboratories at the National institutes of Health in the USA and Cambridge University to develop methods to measure drug efficacy in multiple sclerosis using ultra-high-resolution MRI and dynamic nuclear polarization.

Hall, Douglas

Cancer Research UK – Cambridge Institute


  • Cancer Stem Cells (in High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer)
  • Lineage tracing of individual cancer cells, and specific subpopulations
  • Proliferation capacity and rates of different cancer cell subpopulations
  • Dynamics of tumour growth and re-population
I am an experimental biologist using lineage tracing to investigate tumour growth and maintenance and determine the dynamics of potential ‘cancer stem cell’ subpopulations.

Harris, Bill

Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

Personal website

  • Cell determination in the CNS
  • Tissue patterning in the CNS
  • Formation of neural connections
I'm interested in how the nervous system grows to the right size, shape and cell composition, and the mechanisms that underlie the formation of neural circuitry. My lab is using dynamic imaging of the visual system of zebrafish to get at these questions.

Hemberg, Martin

Computational Genomics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Personal website

  • Stochastic models of gene expression
  • Transcriptional regulation
My group is interested in developing quantitative models of gene expression using a data-driven approach.

Hindley, Chris

Gurdon Institute


  • Pancreas stem cell populations/regeneration in vivo
  • Modelling pancreatic organoid growth and stem cell populations
  • Fate conversion of pancreatic ductal cells to beta cells
  • Diabetes
Having spent some years in the field of developmental neurobiology, I am now interested in modelling stem/progenitor populations and fate decisions in the adult pancreas. The signalling that occurs during development of neurons and the pancreas is very similar, and my goal is to use organoids to generate beta cells in vitro.

Höhn, Stephanie


Personal website

  • Biological and biophysical aspects of embryonic development
  • Embryonic cell sheet curling
  • Cell differentiation
  • Self-organization of developing tissues
I use diverse imaging techniques (transmitted light, confocal, light sheet, time lapse and electron microscopy) to study biomechanical processes such as cell sheet movements in developing embryos. Simple model organisms, i. e. green microalgae of the genus Volvox, are uniquely suited to achieve a better understanding of the basic underlying cellular and physical mechanisms. I work with mathematicians and biophysicists to combine my experimental approach with theoretical modelling.

Jiménez Sánchez, Alejandro

Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute


  • Cancer and immune interactions
  • Computational biology
  • Systems biology
My research revolves around characterising cancer and immune components using bulk tissue genomic data, looking for associations to outcome in patients.

Kabla, Alexandre J.

Department of Engineering

Personal website

  • Tissue morphogenesis, collective migration
  • Biomechanics
  • Fibre networks, foam reology, granular matter
  • Biomedical imaging
Our research combines experimental design, data analysis and modelling to characterises the role of mechanical forces and physical constraints in the dynamics of large cell populations.

Krieger, Teresa

Gurdon Institute, Cavendish Laboratory


  • Neurodevelopment
  • CNS disorders
  • Stem cells in development and disease
Theory: dynamics of neural stem cells in development and homeostasis. Experiments: using human iPS cells to model neurodevelopmental disorders.

Lai, Massimo

The Babraham Institute


  • Computational biology
  • Calcium and calmodulin-dependent signalling pathways in synaptic plasticty
  • Stochastic and particle-based methods for simulation of chemical networks
I study models of calcium-dependent signalling pathways, within the context of neuroscience.

Peck, Joel R.

Department of Genetics

Personal website

  • Theoretical studies of evolutionary biology
  • The use of information theory in evolutionary studies
  • The evolution of social behaviour
  • The design of human societies
I am interested in the potential of information theory to advance the life sciences. I apply this theory to study the origin of life, the evolution social behaviour, and the effectiveness of various systems of voting.

Peaudecerf, François

Institute of Environmental Engineering
ETH Zürich

Personal website

  • Physics of interfaces
  • Algal-bacterial interactions
  • Microbial ecology
I am interested in dispersal processes of marine microbes and their behaviour in a patchy environment for resources.

Rinaldi, Alessandro

Computer Laboratory


  • Mashine learning
  • Complex networks
  • Systems biology
  • Inverse problems
Nihil a me alienum puto.

Rulands, Steffen

Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany


  • Stem cell dynamics in developing and adult tissues
  • Single-cell genomics and molecular basis of pluripotency
  • Epigenetics
  • Evolutionary dynamics
A theoretical physicist by training Steffen's interests lie in the interfaces between physics and biology. He is currently working on the theoretical understanding of processes related to stem and developmental cell biology. Drawing upon single-cell genomics and lineage-tracing experiments he is interested in how stem cells make fate decisions on the molecular and population level.

Stingl, John

Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute

Personal website

  • Mammary stem cells
  • Ovarian cancer stem cells

Tesoro, Salvatore

Department of Physics,
University of Cambridge


  • Self Assembly
  • DNA physics
Salvatore's interest lies in applying methods of statistical physics to biologically motivated questions. He is currently working with Sebastian Ahnert in the field of self-assembly, focusing on non-deterministic structure growth. Previously he has been working on 1 dimensional DNA protein systems and Chromatin.

Travers, Andrew

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Department of Biochemistry

Recent publications (PDF)

  • DNA structure and topology
  • Chromatin structure and regulation
  • Bacterial and fly gene regulation
I'm interested in DNA function and am writing on why DNA is the dominant genetic material and how this relates to the evolution of biological complexity.

Williams, Roger L.

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Group website

  • Phosphoinositide signalling
  • Structural Biology
  • Intracellular protein sorting
We are trying to develop a detailed structural understanding of the network of interacting pathways involved in phospholipid signalling.

Wioland, Hugo


Personal website

  • Swimming bacteria
  • Active fluids
  • Self-organisation
I experimentally study the self-organisation of a dense suspension of swimming bacteria, using confining microchambers.

Zabet, Nicolae Radu

School of Biological Sciences
University of Essex, UK

Personal website

  • Mechanistic understanding of gene regulation
  • 3D chromatin architecture
  • Diffusion of transcription factors
  • Noise in gene expression
  • Mechanistic role of DNA methylation
My lab is interested in the mechanistic models for gene regulation. We currently combine computational biology and wet-lab experiments to understand the role of chromatin three-dimensional organisation on gene regulation in Drosophila. In addition, we are also interested in epigenetics focusing on transgenerational stability of DNA methylation.

Zaccone, Alessio

Cavendish Laboratory

Personal website

  • Soft matter
  • Proteins
  • Glasses
I am interested in the relation between microscopic many-body dynamics and macroscopic thermal and mechanical properties in complex fluids and amorphous solids. I am also interested in applying concepts of condensed matter and statistical mechanics to protein self-assembly and large-scale structure formation in biological systems.