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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)


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
248 A developmental cellular hierarchy in melanoma uncouples growth and metastatic phenotypes
P Karras, I Bordeu, J Pozniak, C Pazzi, D Pedri, E Landeloos, N Van Raemdonck, Y van Herck, F Bosisio, O Bechter, C Blanpain, B Simons, F Rambow, J Marine
– Journal of Investigative Dermatology
Visualization of individual cell division history incomplex tissues using iCOUNT
A Denoth-Lippuner, BN Jaeger, T Liang, LN Royall, SE Chie, K Buthey, D Machado, VI Korobeynyk, M Kruse, CM Munz, A Gerbaulet, BD Simons, S Jessberger
– Cell stem cell
Integration of spatial and single-cell transcriptomic data elucidates mouse organogenesis.
T Lohoff, S Ghazanfar, A Missarova, N Koulena, N Pierson, JA Griffiths, ES Bardot, C-HL Eng, RCV Tyser, R Argelaguet, C Guibentif, S Srinivas, J Briscoe, BD Simons, A-K Hadjantonakis, B Göttgens, W Reik, J Nichols, L Cai, JC Marioni
– Nature biotechnology
Release of Notch activity coordinated by IL-1β signalling confers differentiation plasticity of airway progenitors via Fosl2 during alveolar regeneration.
J Choi, YJ Jang, C Dabrowska, E Iich, KV Evans, H Hall, SM Janes, BD Simons, B-K Koo, J Kim, J-H Lee
– Nature cell biology
Secreted inhibitors drive the loss of regeneration competence in Xenopus limbs.
C Aztekin, TW Hiscock, J Gurdon, J Jullien, J Marioni, BD Simons
– Development (Cambridge, England)
Secreted inhibitors drive the loss of regeneration competence in Xenopus limbs.
C Aztekin, TW Hiscock, J Gurdon, J Jullien, J Marioni, BD Simons
– Development (Cambridge)
Anal skin-like epithelium mediates colonic wound healing
C Liu, N Girish, M Gomez, P Dubé, K Washington, B Simons, B Polk
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Research Group

Biological Physics and Mechanics




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