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

Co-organiser of the Fluids Summer School 2016: 'Interscale interactions in fluid mechanics and beyond' to be 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.

Selected recent papers

G. Pruessner and C.F. Lee (2016)
Comment on "Anomalous Discontinuity at the Percolation Critical Point of Active Gels." Physical Review Letters 116, 189801.
E-print: arxiv:1605.02855.
L. Chen, C.F. Lee and J. Toner (2016)
Birds, magnets, soap, and sandblasting: surprising connections to incompressible polar active fluids in 2D.
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.
C.F. Lee
Interface stability, interface fluctuations, and the Gibbs-Thomson relation in motility-induced phase separations. E-print: arxiv:1503.08674.

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.

C.F. Lee (2015)
Thermal breakage of a semi-flexible polymer: Breakage profile and rate. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 27, 275101. E-print: arxiv:1410.1498.
P. Sartori, L. Granger, C.F. Lee and J.M. Horowitz (2014)
Thermodynamic costs of information processing in sensory adaptation.
PLOS Computational Biology 10, e1003974. E-print: arxiv:1404.1027.
T. Peng, D. Paramelle, B. Sana, C.F. Lee and S. Lim (2014)
Designing Non-Native Iron-Binding Site on a Protein Cage for Biological Synthesis of Nanoparticles. Small 10, 3131.
C.F. Lee, C.P. Brangwynne, J. Gharakhani, A.A. Hyman and F. Jülicher (2013)
Spatial organization of the cell cytoplasm by position dependent phase separation.
Physical Review Letters 111, 088101.
C.F. Lee (2013)
Active particles under confinement: Aggregation at the wall and gradient formation inside a channel. New Journal of Physics 15, 055007. E-print: arXiv:1304.5556.
C.F. Lee*, S. Bird*, M. Shaw, L. Jean and D.J. Vaux (2012)
Combined effects of agitation, macromolecular crowding and interfaces on amyloidogenesis. Journal of Biological Chemistry 287, 38006. [* = joint first authors]
L. Jean*, C.F. Lee* and D.J. Vaux (2012)
Enrichment of amyloidogenesis at an air-water interface. Biophysical Journal 102, 1154-1162. [* = joint first authors]