Welcome to the Universalities in Biology Group website. We are based in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London. We employ tools of statistical mechanics, soft condensed matter physics, applied mathematics, and computation methods to study universal behaviour in biological systems. Specific examples include protein amyloid self-assembly, cytoplasmic pattern formation, tissue homeostasis, and collective behaviour in living organisms. Our work is typically performed in close collaboration with experimental biologists.

Conference activities

Organiser of the CoSyDy meeting on 'Non-equilibrium polymer dynamics' held at Imperial College London on 26 June, 2017

Co-organiser of Theoretical Physics of Life Workshop held at Imperial College London on June 2, 2017

Co-organiser of the Fluids Summer School 2016: 'Interscale interactions in fluid mechanics and beyond' held at Imperial College London on July 11-15, 2016

Co-organiser of the CoSyDy meeting on 'Foundations of Statistical Mechanics' held at Imperial College London on 18 December, 2015

Organiser of the CoSyDy meeting on 'Phase Transitions and Scale Invariance in Biology' held at Imperial College London on 28 September, 2015

Organiser of the IOP conference: Physics of Emergent Behaviour II: from Molecules to Planets held at the Science Museum (London) on 9-10 July, 2015

Co-chair of the Biomaterials Session at the MEC Annual Meeting and Bioengineering14 held at Imperial College London on 10-11 September, 2014

Organiser of the CoSyDy meeting on the 'Dynamics of Active Matter' held at Imperial College London on 7 May, 2014

Recent review
L. Hong, C.F. Lee and Y.J. Huang (2017)
Statistical Mechanics and Kinetics of Amyloid Fibrillation. Biophysics and biochemistry of protein aggregation, edited by J.-M. Yuan and H.-X. Zhou (World Scientific), chapter 4; E-print: arxiv:1609.01569.

Selected recent papers
C.F. Lee (2017)
Thermalization kinetics of self-assembling, semi-flexible polymers. E-print:
J.D. Wurtz and C.F. Lee (2017)
ATP-triggered stress granule formation via phase separation. E-print:
J.D. Wurtz and C.F. Lee (2017)
Chemical reaction-controlled phase separated drops: Formation, size selection, and coarsening. E-print:
D. Nesbitt, G. Pruessner and C.F. Lee (2017)
Edge instability in incompressible planar active fluids. E-print:
C.A. Weber, C.F. Lee and F. Jülicher (2017)
Droplet Ripening in Concentration Gradients.
New Journal of Physics 19 053021. E-print: arxiv:1703.06276.
C.F. Lee (2017)
Interface stability, interface fluctuations, and the Gibbs-Thomson relation in motility-induced phase separations. Soft Matter 13 376-385. E-print: arxiv:1503.08674.
L. Jean, C.F. Lee, P. Hodder, N. Hawkins and D.J. Vaux (2016)
Dynamics of the formation of a hydrogel by a pathogenic amyloid peptide: islet amyloid polypeptide. Scientific Reports
6, 32124.
L. Chen, C.F. Lee and J. Toner (2016)
Surprising mappings of 2D polar active fluids to 2D soap and 1D sandblasting. Nature Communications 7, 12215.
E-print: arxiv:1601.01924.
C.F. Lee and G. Pruessner (2016) [Editors' Suggestion]
Percolation with trapping mechanism drives active gels to the critically connected state.
Physical Review E 93, 052414. E-print: arxiv:1508.06771.

L. Chen, J. Toner and C.F. Lee (2015)
Critical Phenomenon of the Order-Disorder Transition in Incompressible Active Fluids. New Journal of Physics 17, 042002 (Fast Track Communication) [Video abstract].
E-print: arxiv:1410.2764.