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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)


Behavior and lineage progression of neural progenitors in the mammalian cortex.
Y Lin, J Yang, Z Shen, J Ma, BD Simons, S-H Shi
– Current opinion in neurobiology
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
– Nat Commun
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 of the United States of America
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
Lineage hierarchies and stochasticity ensure the long-term maintenance of adult neural stem cells
E Than-Trong, B Kiani, N Dray, S Ortica, B Simons, S Rulands, A Alunni, L Bally-Cuif
– Sci Adv
Defining the Design Principles of Skin Epidermis Postnatal Growth.
S Dekoninck, E Hannezo, A Sifrim, YA Miroshnikova, M Aragona, M Malfait, S Gargouri, C de Neunheuser, C Dubois, T Voet, SA Wickström, BD Simons, C Blanpain
– Cell
Cardelino: computational integration of somatic clonal substructure and single-cell transcriptomes.
DJ McCarthy, R Rostom, Y Huang, DJ Kunz, P Danecek, MJ Bonder, T Hagai, R Lyu, HipSci Consortium, W Wang, DJ Gaffney, BD Simons, O Stegle, SA Teichmann
– Nature methods
Long-term expansion, genomic stability and in vivo safety of adult human pancreas organoids.
N Georgakopoulos, N Prior, B Angres, G Mastrogiovanni, A Cagan, D Harrison, CJ Hindley, R Arnes-Benito, S-S Liau, A Curd, N Ivory, BD Simons, I Martincorena, H Wurst, K Saeb-Parsy, M Huch
– BMC Developmental Biology
Tracing the dynamics of stem cell fate
L Chatzeli, B Simons
– Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol
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Research Group

Biological Physics and Mechanics




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