Dr Michael Nelson

Dr Michael Nelson is a physicist and computational biologist, working at the interface of physics, single-cell biology, and computer science. He studied Natural Sciences (Physics) at Cambridge from 2011-15, followed by a DPhil in Physics at Oxford from 2015-19, and has also held research positions at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN, 2016-20) and Stockholm University (2019-20).

At Cambridge, Dr Nelson currently holds a joint position as a Research Fellow with the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI).

Originally a particle physicist, Dr Nelson's doctoral research focussed on searching for new forms of matter at the Large Hadron Collider experiment in CERN, where he led searches for dark matter and measurements of the fundamental properties of the Higgs boson particle, combining the principles of quantum physics, statistics, and machine learning. He now applies these same techniques to study the single-cell growth of cancer and the dynamics of gene regulation at the levels of cellular RNA (transcriptomics) and chemical modifications to DNA (epigenetics), and is more broadly interested in statistical physics approaches to stem cell differentiation and haematopoiesis (blood biology).