Professor Ben Simons

Ben Simons

University position


Professor Ben Simons is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Physics

Home page (personal home page)

Research Themes

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Developmental Neuroscience


I am interested in applying methods of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and population dynamics to lineage tracing studies to investigate mechanisms of stem cell fate in development and maintenance. As well as neurogenesis in adult mammalian tissues, I have collaborations on the maintenance of epidermis, intestinal epithelium and germ line. I am also working on development of retina and spinal cord.

Research Focus


cell kinetics

stem cells


Clinical conditions



Biophysical modelling

Computational modelling



William Harris

Phil Jones

Alfonso Martinez-Arias

Doug Winton


Allison Bardin

Cedric Blanpain

James Briscoe

Hans Clevers

Michael Shen

Hongjun Song

Shosei Yoshida

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Simons BD, Clevers H (2011), “Strategies for homeostatic stem cell self-renewal in adult tissues.” Cell 145(6):851-62 Details

    Lopez-Garcia C, Klein AM, Simons BD, Winton DJ (2010), “Intestinal stem cell replacement follows a pattern of neutral drift.” Science 330(6005):822-5 Details

    Snippert HJ, van der Flier LG, Sato T, van Es JH, van den Born M, Kroon-Veenboer C, Barker N, Klein AM, van Rheenen J, Simons BD, Clevers H (2010), “Intestinal crypt homeostasis results from neutral competition between symmetrically dividing Lgr5 stem cells.” Cell 143(1):134-44 Details

    Clayton E, Doupe DP, Klein AM, Winton DJ, Simons BD, Jones PH (2007), “A single type of progenitor cell maintains normal epidermis” Nature 446(7132):185-9 Details



    Barbera M, di Pietro M, Walker E, Brierley C, Macrae S, Simons BD, Jones PH, Stingl J, Fitzgerald RC (2014), “The human squamous oesophagus has widespread capacity for clonal expansion from cells at diverse stages of differentiation.” Gut Details

    Ritsma L, Ellenbroek SI, Zomer A, Snippert HJ, de Sauvage FJ, Simons BD, Clevers H, van Rheenen J (2014), “Intestinal crypt homeostasis revealed at single-stem-cell level by in vivo live imaging.” Nature 507(7492):362-5 Details

    Snippert HJ, Schepers AG, van Es JH, Simons BD, Clevers H (2014), “Biased competition between Lgr5 intestinal stem cells driven by oncogenic mutation induces clonal expansion.” EMBO Rep 15(1):62-9 Details


    Bhaseen MJ, Gauntlett JP, Simons BD, Sonner J, Wiseman T (2013), “Holographic superfluids and the dynamics of symmetry breaking.” Phys Rev Lett 110(1):015301 Details

    Blanpain C, Simons BD (2013), “Unravelling stem cell dynamics by lineage tracing.” Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 14(8):489-502 Details

    Driskell RR, Lichtenberger BM, Hoste E, Kretzschmar K, Simons BD, Charalambous M, Ferron SR, Herault Y, Pavlovic G, Ferguson-Smith AC, Watt FM (2013), “Distinct fibroblast lineages determine dermal architecture in skin development and repair.” Nature 504(7479):277-81 Details

    Kent DG, Li J, Tanna H, Fink J, Kirschner K, Pask DC, Silber Y, Hamilton TL, Sneade R, Simons BD, Green AR (2013), “Self-renewal of single mouse hematopoietic stem cells is reduced by JAK2V617F without compromising progenitor cell expansion.” PLoS Biol 11(6):e1001576 Details

    Simons BD (2013), “Stem cell renewal theory turns 60.” Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 14(12):754 Details

    Simons BD (2013), “Development. Getting your gut into shape.” Science 342(6155):203-4 Details

    Teixeira VH, Nadarajan P, Graham TA, Pipinikas CP, Brown JM, Falzon M, Nye E, Poulsom R, Lawrence D, Wright NA, McDonald S, Giangreco A, Simons BD, Janes SM (2013), “Stochastic homeostasis in human airway epithelium is achieved by neutral competition of basal cell progenitors.” Elife 2:e00966 Details


    de Navascués J, Perdigoto CN, Bian Y, Schneider MH, Bardin AJ, Martínez-Arias A, Simons BD (2012), “Drosophila midgut homeostasis involves neutral competition between symmetrically dividing intestinal stem cells.” EMBO J 31(11):2473-85 Details

    Doupé DP, Alcolea MP, Roshan A, Zhang G, Klein AM, Simons BD, Jones PH (2012), “A single progenitor population switches behavior to maintain and repair esophageal epithelium.” Science 337(6098):1091-3 Details

    Driessens G, Beck B, Caauwe A, Simons BD, Blanpain C (2012), “Defining the mode of tumour growth by clonal analysis.” Nature 488(7412):527-30 Details

    He J, Zhang G, Almeida AD, Cayouette M, Simons BD, Harris WA (2012), “How variable clones build an invariant retina.” Neuron 75(5):786-98 Details

    Mascré G, Dekoninck S, Drogat B, Youssef KK, Broheé S, Sotiropoulou PA, Simons BD, Blanpain C (2012), “Distinct contribution of stem and progenitor cells to epidermal maintenance.” Nature 489(7415):257-62 Details

    Ousset M, Van Keymeulen A, Bouvencourt G, Sharma N, Achouri Y, Simons BD, Blanpain C (2012), “Multipotent and unipotent progenitors contribute to prostate postnatal development.” Nat Cell Biol 14(11):1131-8 Details


    Gomes FL, Zhang G, Carbonell F, Correa JA, Harris WA, Simons BD, Cayouette M (2011), “Reconstruction of rat retinal progenitor cell lineages in vitro reveals a surprising degree of stochasticity in cell fate decisions.” Development 138(2):227-35 Details

    Klein AM, Nikolaidou-Neokosmidou V, Doupé DP, Jones PH, Simons BD (2011), “Patterning as a signature of human epidermal stem cell regulation.” J R Soc Interface Details

    Klein AM, Simons BD (2011), “Universal patterns of stem cell fate in cycling adult tissues.” Development 138(15):3103-11 Details

    Simons BD, Clevers H (2011), “Stem cell self-renewal in intestinal crypt.” Exp Cell Res 317(19):2719-24 Details


    Doupé DP, Klein AM, Simons BD, Jones PH (2010), “The ordered architecture of murine ear epidermis is maintained by progenitor cells with random fate.” Dev Cell 18(2):317-23 Details

    Klein AM, Brash DE, Jones PH, Simons BD (2010), “Stochastic fate of p53-mutant epidermal progenitor cells is tilted toward proliferation by UV B during preneoplasia.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107(1):270-5 Details

    Klein AM, Nakagawa T, Ichikawa R, Yoshida S, Simons BD (2010), “Mouse germ line stem cells undergo rapid and stochastic turnover.” Cell Stem Cell 7(2):214-24 Details


    Jones P, Simons BD (2008), “Epidermal homeostasis: do committed progenitors work while stem cells sleep?” Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 9(1):82-8 Details

    Klein AM, Doupé DP, Jones PH, Simons BD (2008), “Mechanism of murine epidermal maintenance: cell division and the voter model.” Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys 77(3 Pt 1):031907 Details


    Jones PH, Simons BD, Watt FM (2007), “Sic transit gloria: farewell to the epidermal transit amplifying cell?” Cell Stem Cell 1(4):371-81 Details

    Klein AM, Doupé DP, Jones PH, Simons BD (2007), “Kinetics of cell division in epidermal maintenance.” Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys 76(2 Pt 1):021910 Details