CoMPLEX is a world-class interdisciplinary centre, applying cutting edge techniques in mathematics, physics, engineering and computer sciences to problems in the life sciences and biomedicine. It has now moved in to purpose built premises on Gower Street in the heart of UCL.
For CoMPLEX news and details of seminars, join our mailing list.


CoMPLEX research is led by members drawn from 29 Departments and Institutes across UCL. Our research is organized across the biological scales that contribute to biological complexity:

  • Biomolecular Mechanisms
    Imaging, optical and scanning probe approaches to nanoscale bioscience
  • Integration of Cellular Function
    Cancer biology, immunology and computational approaches to genomic, metabolomic and proteomic data
  • Physiological and Neural Systems
    Systems Biology of physiological systems, biophysics of vascular fluid mechanics, hearing and ion channels, neuroscience of vision and hearing
  • Evolution and Dynamics of Populations
    Molecular evolution, evolutionary genomics and proteomics, regulation of gene networks, evolution and ecology of populations
  • Systems Biology
    A combination of theory and experiment to study the mechanisms underlying complex biological processes
  • Special Initiative in Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Research
    Systems biology and networks, advanced imaging & computational analysis, chemical biology

This diversity exploits the unique breadth of research strength at UCL. In all cases, research projects involve active collaboration between scientists drawn from across the interface of the mathematical and life sciences. There is also a specific, British Heart Foundation funded initiative in the cardiovascular sciences.

Related departments

CoMPLEX works with a range of departments and researchers across UCL.  During their PhD, most CoMPLEX students are based in other departments. 

Departments we collaborate with include:

Institutes and Centres

If there are any mistakes or omissions in this list, please contact: complex.admin@ucl.ac.uk


To reflect CoMPLEX disciplines, the staff at CoMPLEX are an equal number of life scientists and mathematical/physical scientists or engineers.

Director Dr. Guy Moss
Deputy Director Prof. Sofia Olhede
Research Strategy Directors

Prof. Andrew Pomiankowski

Prof. Alan Johnston

Prof. Gabriel Aeppli

Prof. Frank Smith

Prof. Nicholas Luscombe

Prof. Peter V Coveney

Prof. John Shawe-Taylor

Joint Programme Directors

Dr. Lewis Griffin

Dr. Giandomenico Iannetti

Chairman of the Examination Board Prof. Robin Callard
BHF programme Director Prof. Peter Scambler
Case Presentations and Summer Projects

Dr. Lewis Griffin

Dr. Giandomenico Iannetti

ABMB organisers

Dr. Karen Page

Dr. Lewis Griffin

Dr. Kevin Bryson

ITPL organiser

Dr. Angus Bain

Dr. Guy Moss

ABC organiser Dr. Buzz Baum
MBA organiser Dr. David Murrell
PhD liaison Prof. Geraint Thomas
Transferable and Generic Skills Prof. David Bogle, FREng

Centre Administrator Laura Heekin
Assistant Administrator Gemma Ludbrook
Admissions tutor/Deputy Exam Board Chair Prof. Geraint Thomas
Graduate tutors

Prof. Geraint Thomas

Prof. Lucia Sivilotti

Personal tutors

Prof. Jonathan Ashmore, FRS

Prof. Lucia Sivilotti

Faculty Tutor Dr. Caroline Essex
Other key participants

Prof. Valerie Isham

Prof. Anthony Finkelstein

Prof. Ziheng Yang, FRS

CoMPLEX Research Associates

Tom Blacker

Andrew Newell

Matthew Caldwell

2020 Science Research Associates

Ben Calderhead

Robin Freeman

Miguel Bernabeau

Joanna Lewis

Affiliate Staff
Prof Jodi Lindsay
Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis
St. George's University of London
Honorary Staff

Dr Peter Sozou
Research Associate
London School of Economics (LSE)

Dr Alexandre Kabla
Cambridge University, Lecturer, Mechanics and Materials Division
Fellow of Emmanuel College

Dr John R Skoyles
Research Associate
Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, LSE

CoMPLEX Supervisors

CoMPLEX Supervisors

Supervising at CoMPLEX

Supervising at CoMPLEX

At CoMPLEX we welcome new supervisors to join our community. If you wish to be added to the CoMPLEX supervisor list, this means that you will receive calls for MRes projects and PhD proposals. There are a few guidelines, the most important being that all CoMPLEX student projects must involve one supervisor drawn from mathematics, engineering or the physical sciences and one drawn from the life/medical sciences. Therefore, all supervisors must collaborate with a second supervisor in a suitable, complementary discipline.  If you are interested in becoming a CoMPLEX supervisor and want to know more, or just want to find out more about the programme, please contact us either in person, or drop us an e-mail at complex@ucl.ac.uk



CoMPLEX seeks to promote interdisciplinary research in the life sciences. For this purpose, CoMPLEX is running a major interdisciplinary initiative in Cardiovascular Medicine as part of the Doctoral Training Centre. This exciting CoMPLEX initiative allows us to build upon this by bringing together biomedical expertise with physical and mathematical scientists.

CoMPLEX is also supporting UCL Systems Biology initiative, which has been launched to coordinate and strengthen interdisciplinary systems-biology research across the whole of UCL. CoMPLEX is also colaborating with Vision @ UCL, a new inter-faculty network linking together individuals, groups, centres and departments that contribute to research in vision, as a biological process, as a medium and as a technology.

Throught these initiatives CoMPLEX brings together life and medical scientists with mathematicians, physical scientists, computer scientists and engineers to tackle the challenges arising from complexity in biology and medicine.

Current initiatives supported by CoMPLEX include:

CoMPLEX also hosts a list of upcoming Vision @ UCL Events on the Seminars Section.

Mailing list

Mailing list

The CoMPLEX mail list server is used to keep members and people interested in CoMPLEX up to date with events, seminars and news.

This is run as a list server to which you can subscribe and unsubscribe yourself. Subscribers can alter their account options and subscribe or unsubscribe via the web link (scroll to the bottom of the linked webpage).

Messages can only be posted by subscribers.  Messages mailed to complex-mail@ucl.ac.uk go to all members of the list. It is intended to act as a forum for discussion about matters of interest to those involved in CoMPLEX.


If you receive a message from the list, its "From" field will contain the original sender. If you use your mailer's reply command, the reply will only go to the sender, not to the whole list. To reply to the list, you need to manually enter complex-mail@ucl.ac.uk in the "To" field.

Outreach: SiMPLE@CoMPLEX

Outreach: SiMPLE@CoMPLEX



SiMPLE@CoMPLEX is an outreach initiative that aims to introduce school children to the idea of mathematical modelling of biology. 

The example we have chosen is that of penguin nest-building behaviour, whereby penguins build their nests either by foraging for rocks or by stealing rocks from other penguins.

The paradigm used to represent this scenario is that of a board game, where the rule set is equivalent to a mathematical model. The characters represent the foraging and stealing penguins.

Simple@CoMPLEXCriminal Penguin

The organisers for SiMPLEX@CoMPLEX are; Rob Stanley, Tharindi Hapuarachchi and Janine Symonds - they can be contacted at complex@ucl.ac.uk


Contact Us

Contact Us

For general information on CoMPLEX, please contact the CoMPLEX Assistant Administrator, Gemma Ludbrook. 

The address and contact details for the department are:

Physics Building
Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 4323 (internal 34323),

email: complex@ucl.ac.uk

Visiting CoMPLEX

CoMPLEX is located in the Physics Building, on the UCL main campus. The visitor entrance is in through the North cloisters (click map for a larger version). To access CoMPLEX without a card, please call one of the extensions – 34323 or 34325 using the telephone just outside the CoMPLEX door.


Reaching UCL by public transport:


UCL Maps

UCL has many buildings, lecture theatres, rooms and social facilities around Bloomsbury, UCL Maps has been developed to help new students find their way to various locations, giving step-by- step directions. The map can be found here:http://crf.casa.ucl.ac.uk/

Other contacts

  • Contacts for the programme organisers, tutors and key participants can be found at the Key Staff Section.
  • For CoMPLEX students, see the Research Section.
  • The UCL Directory allows you to search for staff and student contacts across UCL.



 In 2003 CoMPLEX was awarded funding by the EPSRC for the Doctoral Training Centre as part of the EPSRC's Life Sciences Interface Programme. This funding was renewed in 2008. Further funding is provided from a variety of sources, including the the MRC, BBSRC, CRUK, NERC, SAHFOS and UCL currently enables CoMPLEX to fund 13-15  students per year on the CoMPLEX 4 year PhD programme.

Page last modified on 21 mar 14 15:17