Benjamin Simons is the Royal Society EP Abraham Professor at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and the Herchel Smith Chair in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. He is also a Senior Group Leader at the Gurdon Institute, a PI at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and a member of the Theory of Condensed Matter (TCM) physics group. He is also a Fellow of St. John's College.
The interests of the lab are diverse with research activities ranging from quantitative theoretical and experimental approaches to biological systems to theoretical condensed matter physics. In the field of condensed matter, the group has made contributions to the study of quantum phase coherence phenomena in normal and superconducting compounds, as well as correlated matter-light systems. More recently, the interests of the group have focussed on the many-body physics of ultracold atom gases and the study of quantum systems driven far from equilibrium. In collaboration with Alexander Altland, Ben has co-authored a graduate text on field theory approaches in quantum condensed matter systems.
In the area of stem cell and developmental biology, the group has applied theoretical, statistical and computational approaches to study "emergent" behaviour and self-organization in biological systems. With a focus on the biology of mammalian tissues, the group has applied approaches from statistical physics to study the dynamics of cell fate decision-making during the development, maintenance and regeneration of tissues, and how these programmes become subverted in the transition to diseased states. These studies have emphasized the role of stochasticity and cell state flexibility in the regulation of stem and progenitor cell fate in both healthy and diseased states. Building on collaborative activities with partner experimental laboratories in the UK and overseas, the group now hosts an experimental programme of research at the Gurdon Institute.
Further details of group activities and funding can be found by following the links above or by turning to ORCiD. But note that the information on these sites may be refreshed infrequently. Details of current research activities are available through recent publications, which can be found by following the links above or via Google Scholar.
Research activities of the group in the area of condensed matter physics have been continuously supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through Programme grants (and related) and, most recently, via a Critical Mass Grant. In the area of stem cell and developmental biology, research activities are, or have been, supported through grants from EPSRC, the Medical Research Council, the Human Frontiers Science Program, the Royal Society, Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust through Investigator (2019) and Strategic/Collaborative Awards.
Visitors interested in joining the lab as a postdoctoral researcher or graduate student should refer to the Join Us link above.