Welcome to the Universality 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. Our research expands the horizons of physics and biology by studying biological problems that require the development of novel physics. We enjoy close collaborations with biologists and bioengineers. Specific biological processes that we are interested in include protein amyloid self-assembly, cytoplasmic pattern formation, tissue homeostasis, and collective behaviour in living organisms.


News and Views
C.F. Lee (2020)
Formation of liquid-like cellular organelles depends on their composition
Nature 581, 144

Recent reviews
C.A. Weber, D. Zwicker, F. Jülicher and C.F. Lee (2019)
Physics of Active Emulsions
Reports of Progress in Physics 82, 064601
E-print: arXiv:1806.09552
C.F. Lee and J.D. Wurtz (2019)
Novel physics arising from phase transitions in biology
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 52, 023001
E-print: arXiv:1809.11117.
[Featured in a Thesis article in Nature Physics]



Recent representative papers
P. Jentsch and C.F. Lee
Novel critical phenomena in compressible polar active fluids: A functional renormalization group approach
E-print: arXiv:2205.01610
A. Cairoli, A. Spenlehauer, D.R. Overby, and C.F. Lee (2022)
Model of inverse bleb growth explains giant vacuole dynamics during cell mechanoadaptation
PNAS Nexus, pgac304; bioRxiv: 2022.06.26.497642
L. Chen, C.F. Lee, A. Maitra and J. Toner (2022)
Packed swarms on dirt: two dimensional incompressible flocks with quenched and annealed disorder
Physical Review Letters 129 188004. E-print: arXiv:2202.02865
[Featured in a News and Views article in Nature and in the Physics Magazine, PRL Editors' suggestion]
A. Killeen, T. Bertrand and C.F. Lee (2022)
Polar Fluctuations Lead to Extensile Nematic Behavior in Confluent Tissues
Physical Review Letters 128 078001. E-print: arXiv:2107.03838
[Featured in the Physics Magazine, PRL Editors' suggestion]
A.W. Folkmann, A.A. Putnam, C.F. Lee, and G. Seydoux (2021)
Regulation of biomolecular condensates by interfacial protein clusters
Science 373 1218.
[Featured in a Perspective article in Science]
L. Pytowski, C.F. Lee, A.C. Foley, D.J. Vaux and L. Jean (2020)
Liquid–liquid phase separation of type II diabetes associated IAPP initiates hydrogelation and aggregation
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 117 12050.

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