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Zena Hadjivasiliou : Mathematical and Physical Biology Laboratory

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We use the laws of physics and the language of mathematics to understand the principles of self-organisation in biological systems.

Our lab studies how structure and organisation emerge in living systems. We develop mathematical and physical descriptions that help us bridge events that happen at the molecular, cellular, tissue, and whole organism scale. We then use analytical, numerical and computational tools to link our theoretical descriptions to experimental predictions and observations.

One of our core interests is the process of development where organisms grow from a single cell to an adult body of well-defined and reproducible size, shape and morphology. We study the developmental machineries that underlie this remarkable transformation in size and organisation.

Understanding the mechanisms that control animal growth and patterning can also help explain how the enormous diversity we see across the tree of life has emerged. To do this, our lab examines how developmental machineries mutate and evolve to yield changes and novelty in animal morphology.

We like to work with experimental collaborators to identify new areas of study and test the predictions of our theoretical work.