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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)


A cellular hierarchy in melanoma uncouples growth and metastasis.
P Karras, I Bordeu, J Pozniak, A Nowosad, C Pazzi, N Van Raemdonck, E Landeloos, Y Van Herck, D Pedri, G Bervoets, S Makhzami, JH Khoo, B Pavie, J Lamote, O Marin-Bejar, M Dewaele, H Liang, X Zhang, Y Hua, J Wouters, R Browaeys, G Bergers, Y Saeys, F Bosisio, J van den Oord, D Lambrechts, AK Rustgi, O Bechter, C Blanpain, BD Simons, F Rambow, J-C Marine
– Nature
Birth, cell fate and behavior of progenitors at the origin of the cardiac mitral valve
B Farhat, I Bordeu, B Jagla, H Blanc, K Loulier, B Simons, E Beaurepaire, J Livet, M Pucéat
Different niches for mutant stem cells affect pathogenesis and therapy response in myeloproliferative neoplasms
S Mendez-Ferrer, E Grockowiak, C Korn, J Rak, A Hallou, V Lysenko, F Panvini, C Fielding, M Williams, E Khatib-Massalha, Z Fang, A García-García, R Khorshed, S González-Antón, J Li, E Baxter, A Kusumbe, B Wilkins, A Green, B Simons, C Harrison, A Green, CL Celso, A Theocharides
A brain precursor atlas reveals the acquisition of developmental-like states in adult cerebral tumours.
AA Hamed, DJ Kunz, I El-Hamamy, QM Trinh, OD Subedar, LM Richards, W Foltz, G Bullivant, M Ware, MC Vladoiu, J Zhang, AM Raj, TJ Pugh, MD Taylor, SA Teichmann, LD Stein, BD Simons, PB Dirks
– Nature Communications
Retrograde movements determine effective stem cell numbers in the intestine.
M Azkanaz, B Corominas-Murtra, SIJ Ellenbroek, L Bruens, AT Webb, D Laskaris, KC Oost, SJA Lafirenze, K Annusver, HA Messal, S Iqbal, DJ Flanagan, DJ Huels, F Rojas-Rodríguez, M Vizoso, M Kasper, OJ Sansom, HJ Snippert, P Liberali, BD Simons, P Katajisto, E Hannezo, J van Rheenen
– Nature
Epigenetic inheritance of gene-silencing is maintained by a self-tuning mechanism based on resource competition
O Karin, E Miska, B Simons
Human branching cholangiocyte organoids recapitulate functional bile duct formation.
FJM Roos, GS van Tienderen, H Wu, I Bordeu, D Vinke, LM Albarinos, K Monfils, S Niesten, R Smits, J Willemse, O Rosmark, G Westergren-Thorsson, DJ Kunz, M de Wit, PJ French, L Vallier, JNM IJzermans, R Bartfai, H Marks, BD Simons, ME van Royen, MMA Verstegen, LJW van der Laan
– Cell stem cell
Transitional Anal Cells Mediate Colonic Re-epithelialization in Colitis
CY Liu, N Girish, ML Gomez, PE Dubé, MK Washington, BD Simons, DB Polk
– Gastroenterology
ASCL1 phosphorylation and ID2 upregulation are roadblocks to glioblastoma stem cell differentiation
R Azzarelli, A McNally, C Dell'Amico, M Onorati, B Simons, A Philpott
– Scientific reports
A multistate stem cell dynamics maintains homeostasis in mouse spermatogenesis.
T Nakagawa, DJ Jörg, H Watanabe, S Mizuno, S Han, T Ikeda, Y Omatsu, K Nishimura, M Fujita, S Takahashi, G Kondoh, BD Simons, S Yoshida, T Nagasawa
– Cell Reports
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Research Group

Biological Physics and Mechanics




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