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Theory of Living Matter Group

 

Organiser team (in alphabetical order)

Erik Clark

Postdoc

Department of Zoology

Email:

Research Interests

  • Developmental dynamics
  • Computational modelling

Erik joined the Department of Zoology in 2012 as a PhD student in the Akam lab. Since 2017 he has been a Trinity College Junior Research Fellow. He uses wet lab experiments, image analysis, and computational modelling to study segmentation gene networks in arthropods.


Shlomit Edri

PhD student

Department of Genetics

Email:

Research Interests

  • Developmental biology and cell fate assignments
  • Dynamic of the neural-mesodermal progenitors of mammalian embryos
  • Computational modelling

Shlomit joined Alfonso Martinez-Arias' lab in the department of Genetics as a PhD student in 2015. In her PhD she is combining experimental biology work on mouse embryonic stem cells and her engineering background to better understand how chemical signalling and self-cell organization influence the balance between self-renewing stem cells and their decision to differentiate.


Pau Formosa-Jordan

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Sainsbury Laboratory

Personal website #1
Personal website #2
Email:

Research Interests

  • Pattern formation in plant and animal tissues
  • Dynamical systems in Biology
  • Noise in Biology
  • Cell division
  • Cell polarity

Pau is a physicist by training. In 2014 he came to Cambridge to start a postdoc at the Sainsbury Laboratory. In his current research, he is studying different aspects of signalling and patterning at the tissue, cellular and subcellular levels. To do so, he uses combined theoretical and experimental approaches involving mathematical modelling, time lapse microscopy of fluorescent markers in plant tissues and in cell cultures, and quantitative image analysis.


Adrien Hallou

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Department of Physics, Gurdon Institute and Stem Cell Institute

Email:

Research Interests

  • Stem cell dynamics in epithelial tissues
  • Cell fate decisions
  • Embryonic pattern formation
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Collective cell migration in development and cancer

Initially trained as a physicist and a chemist, Adrien developed his interest for quantitative approaches of biological systems during his MPhil and PhD in Biophysics at the University of Cambridge. He is now a postdoctoral research fellow in the group of Prof. Ben Simons, and combines theory, computer simulations and wet lab experiments to understand the role of cellular heterogeneity in cell fate decision, pattern formation and epithelial tissue function during homeostasis, regeneration and tumorogenesis.


David Jörg

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Department of Physics and Gurdon Institute

Personal website
Email:
Publications: http://www.davidjorg.com/publications.php

Research Interests

  • Stem cell dynamics in tissue development, maintenance, and repair
  • Biochemical feedback systems and genetic oscillations
  • Embryonic pattern formation
  • Synchronisation in biology and engineering

Having a background in quantum many-particle theory, David became interested in the theoretical understanding of collective phenomena in living systems. His current main focus is on how the pool of stem cells that maintains adult tissue is regulated through biochemical signaling and how it recovers after injury. In addition, he works on embryonic pattern formation such as the segmentation of the vertebrate body axis and the development of the fly visual system. David is also involved in transferring the insights obtained in living systems to engineering concepts for technical applications.


Céline Labouesse

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Stem Cell Institute

Email:

Research Interests

  • Stem cell fate decisions
  • Mechanobiology, mechanotransduction
  • Cytoskeleton and cell mechanical properties
  • Nuclear mechanics

Céline has background in physics and cell biophysics. After working on mechanical properties of cytoskeletal structures during her PhD in EPFL, Switzerland, she joined the group of Kevin Chalut at the Stem Cell Institute in 2015 to study the mechanical control of embryonic stem cell fate. In particular, she looks at how external forces from the micro-environment are transduced to the cell and the nucleus and ultimately impact cell fate decisions.


Imen Lassadi

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Department of Biochemistry

Email:

Research Interests

  • Chromatin Biology and Genome architecture
  • DNA maintenance and stability
  • Imaging and Image analysis

Dr Imen Lassadi obtained her PhD from Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France. During her PhD, she was involved in developing a multi-color tagging technique as well as a geometry-based software to study the organization of chromosomes in S. cerevisiae. After a post-doctoral stay in Pasteur Institute-Paris, where she worked on the impact of genome architecture and chromatin compaction in DNA damage repair in S. cerevisiae. Imen joined Dr Ross Waller' lab in the Department of Biochemistry as a Research Associate in 2016. She is studying the genome organization of Dinoflagellata which provide a model for a histone-independent mechanism of nuclear genome maintenance and function.


Xiaoyan Ma

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Department of Biochemistry

Email:

Research Interests

  • Chromosome organisation
  • Transcription factor binding dynamics and spatial co-localisation
  • Computational biology
  • Stem cell differentiation

Xiaoyan has a background in biochemistry and computational biology. She did her PhD in Genetics investigating transcription factor binding dynamics and 3D co-localisation in mammalian genome, using a combination of biophysical modelling and chromatin contact map analysis. Xiaoyan joined Prof. E. D. Laue's group in Oct 2017 to further her research on chromosome organisation in single nucleus.


Berta Verd

Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Genetics

Email:

Research Interests

  • Developmental dynamics
  • Evolution of development
  • Dynamical systems

I am a somewhat unusual breed of biologist. A mathematician by training, I spent a year studying a Masters degree in sociology of science before starting to work in biology during my second Masters degree in Systems and Synthetic Biology at Imperial College, London. There I combined experiments and stochastic models to address the mechanisms underlying bimodal activation in cell populations after induction by NFAT signaling. It soon became very clear to me that interdisciplinary approaches held huge potential to help us understand some of the most central problems in biology, and I was hooked. After my Masters I moved to the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona to pursue a doctorate degree in evolutionary and developmental systems biology under the supervision of Dr. Johannes Jaeger. I used data-driven mathematical modeling to study pattern formation during segment determination in Drosophila and other species of flies. I developed mathematical tools to characterise gene expression dynamics, allowing us to compare these amongst different arthropod species. This has helped us understand how gene regulatory networks drive gene expression dynamics in developmental processes and shape their evolution. In October 2017 I joined the Steventon Lab as a Herchel-Smith Postdoctoral Fellow where I am combining experimental and dynamical modeling approaches to understand neuromesodermal progenitor competence and differentiation in zebrafish embryos.