Members: Please place your sketch in alphabetical order by last name
(Use the Heading 3, not boldface, setting for the line with your name on it.)


David Bensimon

Gábor Balázsi

I am Associate Professor at the Department of Systems Biology, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. I am interested in using synthetic gene circuits as research tools in evolution, development, and cancer. For more information, check our lab website.

Tom Chou

is a professor in the Depts. of Biomathematics and Mathematics at UCLA. His research program seeks to develop new stochastic models and methods for describing molecular biophysics, cell biology, and population models. He is also interested in inverse problems and physiological modeling.

Cassandra Extavour

is an Associate Professor in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. Her research focuses on comparative molecular and developmental genetics of the germ line and the evolution of reproductive systems. In practice her lab works with embryos and gonads of multiple arthropods including Drosophila melanogaster, and tries to identify patterns in how these organisms use conserved or novel/lineage specific genes to make sure they segregate a germ line during embryogenesis, and that it functions properly during adulthood.

Illes Farkas

(Google Scholar, Homepage) is a senior research associate at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Eotvos Univ, Budapest. He works (in collaborations) on biological and social regulatory networks, and collective motion. Software: network clustering, collective motion, signaling networks.

James Glazier

is Professor of Physics, Adjunct Professor of Biology and Informatics and Director of the Biocomplexity Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington ( His research focuses on embryonic development and developmental diseases and on the design of software tools for virtual-tissue simulations ( Specific areas of interest are somitogenesis, somatic evolution in cancer progression, neovascular diseases of the eye and degenerative diseases of the liver.

Chaitanya Gokhale

is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in the Research Group for Evolutionary Theory headed by Arne Traulsen. The Institute is located in the beautiful village of Plön. His main focus of study is the development of a general theory for evolutionary multiplayer games and furthering the theory via incorporating bits of realism such as stochastic dynamics and ecological processes into the evolutionary framework. Besides developing the theory its applications such as for the division of labour, social evolution, evolution of different kinds of symbiosis (from mutualism - commensalism - parasitism), host parasite coevolution, evolution of sex and the origin and evolution of cultural phenomena such as religions are of particular interest.

Jeff Gore

is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at MIT. His laboratory uses experimental microbial populations to study fundamental questions in evolutionary dynamics and theoretical ecology. Questions of particular interest include evolutionary game theory and the evolution of cooperation as well as early warning indicators of impending population collapse.

Greg Huber

I am a biophysicist at the KITP. I study cell motility and the biomechanics of cellular organelles.

Christoph Kirst

I am a theoretical physicist and mathematician. I did my PhD in computational neuroscience at he Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and
I am now a postdoc at the LMU Munich in the group of Andreas Herz. I am interested in network dynamical systems with applications to biology,
e.g. neuronal and gene regulatory networks.

Mimi Koehl

is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Department of Integrative Biology ( ), in Biophysics (, and in the Center for Integrative Biomechanics Education and Research ( ). She studies the physics of how organisms interact with their environments. focusing on issues such as how microscopic organisms swim and capture their food in turbulent ambient flow, how the mechanical designs of wave-battered marine plants and animals affect their danger of being washed away, how olfactory antennae capture odors from the water or air moving around them, and aerodynamic performance of extinct ancestors of insects and birds (

Victor Luria

I am a research fellow in Boston at Harvard (Systems Biology) in the group of Marc Kirschner and I also do collaborative work in Jeff Lichtman's lab at Harvard's Center for Brain Science. My background is in neurogenetics and biophysics (PhD, Columbia University). I study stochastic decision-making and exploratory behavior in neural and genetic circuits. The neural project addresses how neurons decide what targets to connect with during the assembly and decay of sensory-motor neural circuits control animal movement (using mouse as a model organism). As neurons face conflicting and variable information, how they decide as individuals or groups is an interesting information-processing problem. The genetic circuit project addresses two questions: first, what is the function of a new gene that is a component of a negative feedback loop in the WNT signaling pathway and how it affects the dynamics of the pathway output; second, how new genes emerge.

Roeland Merks

I am a senior researcher in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, at CWI (Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica), the Dutch national research center for mathematics and computer science. I am also affiliated with the Mathematical Institute of Leiden University, the Netherlands Institute for Systems Biology, and the Netherlands Consortium for Systems Biology. My lab works on models of collective cell behavior during multicellular development and cancer. We work on a diverse range of topics, including angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, plant development, and tumor evolution.

Rick Michod

is a member of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. He works on the evolution of multicellularity using both mathematical models and experiments with the volvocine green algae.

David Queller

is professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis. He is interested in social evolution, ccoperation, and conflict. The lab works primarily on Dictyostelium social amoebas (lab page here).

Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo

is an ICREA research professor at Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra) in Barcelona, Spain. The labaims to understand the origin of metazoan (animal) multicellularity by combining comparative genomics and functional analyses. We mainly work with close unicellular relatives of Metazoa, such as ichthyosporeans and filastereans (lab page here).

Carl Simpson

is a macroevolutionary biologist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. He works on the evolution and macroevolution of colonial organisms and thinks that evolution is commonly a consequence of multiple levels of selection.

Cristian Solari

I did my Ph.D. with Rick Michod and John Kessler at EEB, University of Arizona, did postdoctoral work with Ray Goldstein at DAMTP, University of Cambridge, and now I am a CONICET researcher at Universidad de Buenos Aires. My interest is basically in evolutionary ecology. I used a theoretical and hydrodynamics approach to understand the evolution of cellular differentiation in volvocine green algae. Over a century ago, Weismann (1892) suggested the volvocine green algae as a model lineage for the transition from unicells to multicellular organisms, an argument amplified more recently by Kirk (1998). The incredible range of size presented by these species, their common structural element of biflagellated cells (somatic or reproductive), and their most elementary differentiation beyond a critical size led me and co-workers to a series of theoretical and experimental studies on the Volvocales that allowed the deconstruction of scaling laws in self-propulsion, fluid mixing, and metabolism. Using life-history theory and allometry, we have produced a model inspired by the volvocine green algae that describes the dynamics of the emergence of germ-soma differentiation as size increases in multicellular organisms. The results of the model show that the cost of reproducing an increasingly larger group has likely played an important role in the evolution of complexity and individuality in the transition to multicellularity. The trade-offs between fecundity, viability, and size recently studied in Volvocales show in detail how metabolic and viability constraints as colonies increase in size might be strong enough to push the organism design to cellular specialization and higher complexity. Flagellar motility constraints and opportunities were important driving forces for the evolution of germ-soma separation in this group.

Joan Strassmann

is professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis. She is interested in social evolution, particularly in microbial systems (lab page here) and also in opening up success in academia for diverse students (blog here).

András Szabó

I am a postdoc in the group of Roeland Merks ( at CWI, Amsterdam (, NISB ( and NCSB ( My background is in biophysics. I am interested in mechanistic modelling of developmental and pathological processes on the scale of cells and tissues, using cell-based techniques (mostly cellular Potts model, CompuCell3D). In particular, we are studying how the mechanical and biochemical interactions between cells influences their behaviour and evolution. I am also interested in pattern formation, cell motility, and collective behaviour. For more see my website at

Severine Urdy

is a post-doc at the Netherlands Institute for Systems Biology ( and the Center for Mathematics and Informatics (CWI, Amsterdam, Her background is in Evolutionary Developmental Biology and Paleobiology. She studied the relationships between growth and form of the molluscan shells from theoretical, experimental and comparative points of view (Ph.D from the University of Zürich, Switzerland). She is generally interested in the morphogenetic mechanisms that can account for the patterns of morphological diversity at different spatial and temporal scales (development, populations and taxa). Her long term goal is to derive cell-based biomechanical models of morphogenesis that can provide insights into the growth regulation of epithelial tissues in normal development and cancer formation.

João Xavier

is a biologist at the Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York City. Actually, he is a chemical engineer. But he likes biology. So he applies quantitative tools from engineering to study biology. His lab uses Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a model for bacterial "multicellularity" and they also apply tools from ecology and evolutionary theory to biomedical problems. Check out their research here.