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Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics


  •  2018-date: Royal Society E.P. Abraham Professor, DAMPT, Cambridge
  • 2011-date: Herchel Smith Chair in Physics, Cavendish Laboratory,
  • Cambridge
  • 2002-2010: Personal Chair in the Theory of Condensed Matter, Cavendish Laboratory,
  • Cambridge
  • 2000-2002: University Readership in the Theory of Condensed Matter, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 1995-1999: Lecturer, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 1995-date: Fellow, St John’s College, Cambridge
  • 1994-1995: Royal Society Research Fellow and Lecturer, Imperial College, London
  • 1990-1991: Junior Research Fellow, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge


Ben is a member the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and the Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics. He also holds affiliated positions in the Wellcome Trust/CRUK Gurdon Institute and the Wellcome Trust/MRC Stem Cell Institute. His research interests have spanned a wide range of topics within the area of theoretical quantum condensed matter physics. However, his current interests are focussed on the application of modelling approaches to study the dynamics of biological systems, from subcellular processes, to cell fate decision-making and morphogenic processes. His research is supported by grants from EPSRC, the Wellcome Trust, CRUK and the Royal Society.

Selected Publications

  • S. Rulands, et al., Universality of clone dynamics during tissue development, Nature Physics 14, 469-474 (2018)
  • E. Hannezo, et al., A unifying theory of branching morphogenesis, Cell 171, 242-255 (2017)
  • X. Lan, et al., Cell fate mapping of human glioblastoma reveals an invariant stem cell hierarchy pre- and post-treatment, Nature 549, 227-232 (2017)
  • A. Sanchez-Danes, et al., Defining the clonal dynamics leading to tumor initiation, Nature 536, 298-303 (2016)
  • B. D. Simons and H. Clevers, Strategies of stem cell self-renewal in adult tissues, Cell 145, 851-862 (2011)
  • C. Lopez-Garcia, et al., Intestinal stem cell replacement follows a pattern of neutral drift, Science 330, 822-825 (2010)


Human spermatogonial stem cells retain states with a foetal-like signature
S Bush, R Nikola, S Han, S Suzuki, S Yoshida, B Simons, A Goriely
Tuning of plasma cell lifespan by competition explains the longevity and heterogeneity of antibody persistence.
BD Simons, O Karin
– Immunity
Human lymphoid-neutrophil/monocyte restriction co-ordinately activates increased proliferation despite parallel heterogeneity in transcriptional changes
F Wang, L Gonzalez, C Hammond, M Hirst, B Simons, C Eaves
Heterogeneous murine peribiliary glands orchestrate compartmentalized epithelial renewal
S Singh, Q Lian, T Budiman, MM Taketo, BD Simons, V Gupta
– Developmental cell
Wound-healing plasticity enables clonal expansion of founder progenitor cells in colitis.
CY Liu, N Girish, ML Gomez, M Kalski, JK Bernard, BD Simons, DB Polk
– Dev Cell
Different niches for stem cells carrying the same oncogenic driver affect pathogenesis and therapy response in myeloproliferative neoplasms
E Grockowiak, C Korn, J Rak, V Lysenko, A Hallou, FM Panvini, M Williams, C Fielding, Z Fang, E Khatib-Massalha, A García-García, J Li, RA Khorshed, S González-Antón, EJ Baxter, A Kusumbe, BS Wilkins, A Green, BD Simons, CN Harrison, AR Green, C Lo Celso, APA Theocharides, S Méndez-Ferrer
– Nat Cancer
A computational pipeline for spatial mechano-transcriptomics
A Hallou, R He, B Simons, B Dumitrascu
Cancers make their own luck: theories of cancer origins
A Jassim, EP Rahrmann, BD Simons, RJ Gilbertson
– Nat Rev Cancer
Inflationary theory of branching morphogenesis in the mouse salivary gland
I Bordeu, L Chatzeli, BD Simons
– Nat Commun
Chronic in vivo imaging defines age-dependent alterations of neurogenesis in the mouse hippocampus.
Y Wu, S Bottes, R Fisch, C Zehnder, JD Cole, G-A Pilz, F Helmchen, BD Simons, S Jessberger
– Nat Aging
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Research Group

Biological Physics and Mechanics




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