Senior Computational Biologist

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Lee trained as a theoretical physicist under Professor Tim Sluckin at the University of Southampton. Working with a team of experimental physicists they proved the formation of a liquid crystal defect found in liquid crystal devices could not be eliminated. This played a key role in directing the UKs future development of liquid crystal display devices that we use today. During this time Lee’s growing interest in biomathematical modelling led him to study pre-historic human expansions. Working with Archaeologists, he was able to use theoretical methods to quantify the first link between human expansion and climate change (long before hockey sticks were invented!).  His career passed briefly through the aviation industry where he used statistical methods to estimate the risk of collision between aircraft operating in European and Atlantic airspace in my role as the UKs mathematical representative to Eurocontrol and ICAO.

On returning to biomathematical research Lee developed a novel theoretical approach to study development defects in Drosophila wings and mammalian lung development. This led naturally to an interest in the physical basis of cancer and other diseases. As a result Lee moved to the University of Leeds to lead a group to apply and develop the latest genomic techniques to health. The group had the opportunity to study  chemically induced mutations in cells, they found a link between circulating microRNAs levels and tumour presence (before circulating tumour DNA was the hot thing), biomarkers of breast cancer and developed a new biosensor for sepsis.

Lee’s current work focusses on bringing together his breadth of knowledge to understand and interpret mutational profiles in tumours, build single cell models of clonal dynamics within intestinal crypts, effect of drug treatments on cellular replication and cell fate changes within mammary glands.

Inherent in Lee’s research career has been his desire to understand nature through quantitative methods in an open and collaborative manner.


Work address: 
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute University of Cambridge Li Ka Shing Centre Robinson Way Cambridge CB2 0RE