Overview

Ben Simons is the Herchel Smith Chair in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge. He is the head of the Theory of Condensed Matter (TCM) physics group, an Associate Group Leader at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute and a PI at the Wellcome Trust - Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute. He is also a Fellow of St. John's College.


The interests of the group are varied with research activities in theoretical quantum condensed matter physics and quantitative approaches to biological systems. In the area of condensed matter physics, the group has made contributions to the study of quantum phase coherence effects, localization, superconductivity and collective phenomena in correlated metals, semiconductors and 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, he has co-authored a graduate textbook on field theory approaches in quantum and classical 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 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 played by dynamical heterogeneity and stochasticity in the regulation of stem and progenitor cell fate. At the same time, they have provided insights into the dynamics of tumour-initiation and progression. Building on collaborative activities with partner experimental laboratories in the UK and overseas, the group now hosts an experimental programme of research.


Further details of group activities and funding can be found from the links above or ORCiD. But please note that this information is refreshed infrequently. Details of current activities can be found by referring to recent publications or Google Scholar.


As a member of the Theory of Condensed Matter group, our research in condensed matter physics has been continuously funded 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, our research has been supported through grants from EPSRC, the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust through a Senior Investigator Award and Strategic Award.


Those interested in joining the group as a post-doctoral researcher or graduate student should refer to the jobs link.