Dr Robert Endres, Imperial College London, UK

Robert Endres is Reader in Systems Biology at Imperial College London. His research group addresses fundamental problems in sensing and signalling using physical principles. Most research is done in close collaboration with biologists. Most noticeably he has recently been awarded a prestigious ERC Starting Grant, and also published a textbook with Oxford University Press. Before starting at Imperial College in 2007, Robert was a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Ned Wingreen at Princeton University, where he deciphered the remarkable signalling properties of bacterial chemotaxis, and atomistically predicted protein-DNA binding sites. In 2002 he obtained a PhD in physics from the University of California at Davis. His work, conducted in the group of Prof. Daniel Cox, dealt with charge transfer in biomolecules, in particular in DNA. In 1999 he obtained a Masters degree in physics from the University of Goettingen. He spent the academic year 1996/1997 at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Dr Giovanni Sena, Imperial College London, UK

Giovanni Sena has recently joined Imperial College London as Lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences. With a background in both physics (B.Sc. & M.Sc., University of Milan, Italy) and biology (Ph.D., New York University, U.S.A.), his current research interest is focused on phenomena of self-organization in multicellular systems. In particular, he adopts organ regeneration in plants as an example of de novo tissue reorganization, studied through a combination of live imaging, quantitative phenomenology and computational modelling.

Before moving to the U.K., Giovanni spent his post-doc years at Rockefeller University with Stanislas Leibler and at New York University with Kenneth Birnbaum, working on the role of stem cells during root regeneration in Arabidopsis, and on the development of novel live imaging solutions based on light sheet microscopy.

Giovanni received his Ph.D. in developmental genetics at New York University, studying radial pattern formation in plant roots in the laboratory of Philip Benfey. Before transitioning to the U.S. academic world, he had received a Laurea (B.Sc. & M.Sc.) degree in (theoretical) physics under the supervision of Luciano Girardello at the University of Milan, Italy, with an original dissertation on problems related to the renormalization group.