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Fellows Directory

Benjamin Simons

Benjamin Simons

Professor Benjamin Simons FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2021


Benjamin Simons is a theorist who has contributed to a broad range of fields, from quantum condensed matter physics to developmental biology. With a focus on experimental phenomenology, his research makes use of concepts and approaches from statistical physics and mathematics to gain predictive insights in the collective behaviour of complex systems. Applied to biology, his studies have emphasized the role of stochasticity in the regulation of stem cell renewal, and how these programmes become dysregulated during the transition to cancerous states.

Following postdoctoral training at MIT, in 1995 Simons joined the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, becoming elected to the Herchel Smith Chair in Physics in 2011. Currently, he is a member of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in Cambridge, and a senior Group Leader at the Gurdon Institute, where his experimental lab is based.

He is a member of EMBO and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was awarded the Gabor Medal by the Royal Society, and the Maxwell Medal and Franklin Medal by the UK Institute of Physics.

Professional positions

Royal Society EP Abraham Professor, Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge
Royal Society EP Abraham Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Mathematics
    • Applied mathematics and theoretical physics
  • Astronomy and physics
    • Quantum theory, Statistical
  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology)
  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Cellular pathology, Developmental biology


  • Gabor Medal

    For his work analysing stem cell lineages in development, tissue homeostasis and cancer, revolutionising our understanding of stem cell behaviour in vivo.

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