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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)


Three-dimensional model of glioblastoma by co-culturing tumor stem cells with human brain organoids.
R Azzarelli, M Ori, A Philpott, BD Simons
– Biology Open
Stem Cell Populations as Self-Renewing Many-Particle Systems
DJ Jorg, Y Kitadate, S Yoshida, BD Simons
Long-term self-renewing stem cells in the adult mouse hippocampus identified by intravital imaging
S Bottes, BN Jaeger, G-A Pilz, DJ Jörg, JD Cole, M Kruse, L Harris, VI Korobeynyk, I Mallona, F Helmchen, F Guillemot, BD Simons, S Jessberger
– Nat Neurosci
Stem cell populations as self-renewing many-particle systems
DJ Jörg, Y Kitadate, S Yoshida, BD Simons
– Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics
Highly multiplexed spatially resolved gene expression profiling of 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
Behavior and lineage progression of neural progenitors in the mammalian cortex
Y Lin, J Yang, Z Shen, J Ma, BD Simons, S-H Shi
– Curr Opin Neurobiol
Tracing the cellular basis of islet specification in mouse pancreas
MK Sznurkowska, E Hannezo, R Azzarelli, L Chatzeli, T Ikeda, S Yoshida, A Philpott, BD Simons
– Nature communications
Mechanisms of stretch-mediated skin expansion at single-cell resolution.
M Aragona, A Sifrim, M Malfait, Y Song, J Van Herck, S Dekoninck, S Gargouri, G Lapouge, B Swedlund, C Dubois, P Baatsen, K Vints, S Han, F Tissir, T Voet, BD Simons, C Blanpain
– Nature
Stem cell lineage survival as a noisy competition for niche access.
B Corominas-Murtra, CLGJ Scheele, K Kishi, SIJ Ellenbroek, BD Simons, J van Rheenen, E Hannezo
– Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Proliferation is a requirement for differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells during CNS remyelination
S Foerster, B Neumann, C McClain, L Di Canio, C Chen, D Reich, B Simons, RJM Franklin
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Research Group

Biological Physics and Mechanics




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