Liam Shaw

Email: liam [dot] philip [dot] shaw [at]

Hello! I'm a PhD student in computational biology at University College London. I’m based both at the Institute of Child Health and the Computational Biology Group.

My PhD focuses on analysing and modelling the ways microbial communities within our bodies affect health. More generally I'm very interested in the rapid pace of developments in quantitative biology as we accumulate more and more data, and what we should do about that.

After a 4 year undergraduate degree in physics at Oxford University I then completed a Masters in 'Modelling Biological Complexity' at UCL CoMPLEX in 2014.

I have a blog and a GitHub page.


The human oral microbiome is shaped by shared environment rather than genetics: evidence from a large family of closely-related individuals
L. Shaw, A. Ribeiro, A. Levine, N. Pontikos, F. Balloux, A. Segal, A. Roberts, A. Smith (2017)
bioRxiv doi: 10.1101/131086

Transient structural variations have strong effects on quantitative traits and reproductive isolation in fission yeast
D. Jeffares, C. Jolly, M. Hoti, D. Speed, C. Rallis, L. Shaw, F. Balloux, C. Dessimoz, J. Bahler, F. Sedlazeck (2016)
Nature Communications doi: 10.1038/ncomms14061
bioRxiv doi: 10.1101/047266

Distinguishing the signals of gingivitis and periodontitis in supragingival plaque: a cross-sectional cohort study in Malawi
L. Shaw, U. Harjunmaa, R. Doyle, S. Mulewa, D. Charlie, K. Maleta, R. Callard, A. S. Walker, F. Balloux, P. Ashorn, N. Klein (2016)
Applied and Environmental Microbiology doi: 10.1128/AEM.01756-16

DNA hairpins destabilize duplexes primarily by promoting melting rather than by inhibiting hybridization
J. Schreck, T. Ouldridge, F. Romano, P. Sulc, L. Shaw, A. Louis, J. Doye (2015)
Nucleic Acids Research doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv582

Also see my Google scholar profile.


I’m a 2016 ambassador for Ask for Evidence, a campaign to try and make companies, politicians, commentators and official bodies more accountable for factual claims. I give talks about this organised by Sense about Science. I also quite occasionally give more general talks about science, society, statistics, and even things not beginning with 's'. If you want me to give a talk, feel free to get in touch.

Alongside my academic work, I'm really interested in the relationship between scientists and journalists as well as the possibilities for improving healthcare with technology (particularly in the context of the evidence-based medicine movement).

Outside my academic work, I have other interests.

Website theme courtesy of here.