Portrait of Jasmin Fisher

Jasmin Fisher

Senior Researcher

About

Jasmin Fisher is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge in the Programming Principles & Tools group. She is also an Associate Professor of Systems Biology in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. She is a member of the Cambridge Cancer Centre, Cambridge Systems Biology Centre and the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, and in 2016 she was elected Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

Jasmin received her Ph.D. in Neuroimmunology from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2003. She then started her work on the application of formal methods to biology as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Computer Science at the Weizmann Institute, and then continued to work on the development of novel formalisms and tools that are specifically-tailored for modelling biological processes in the School of Computer Science at the EPFL in Switzerland. In 2007, Jasmin joined the Microsoft Research Lab in Cambridge. In 2009, she was also appointed a Research Group Leader in the University of Cambridge.

Jasmin has devoted her career to develop methods for Executable Biology; her work has inspired the design of many new biological studies. She is a pioneer in using formal verification methods to analyse mechanistic models of cellular processes and disease. Her research group focuses on cutting-edge technologies for modelling molecular mechanisms of cancer and the development of novel drug therapies.

Executable Biology
Our research focuses on the design and analysis of executable computer algorithms describing biological phenomena, in particular cancer biology. We call this approach Executable Biology. These kinds of models hold great promise for new discoveries in a wide variety of biological systems. Once an executable model has been built of a particular system, it can be used to get a global dynamic picture of how the system responds to various perturbations. In addition, preliminary studies can be quickly performed using executable models, saving valuable laboratory time and resources for only the most promising avenues.

Research Overview
Our work is focused on two main directions:

  1. The use of different formalisms to create executable models of biological phenomena, aiming to gain new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the fundamental question of cell fate determination (or in other words – how cells make the decision to develop into a particular cell type) during the course of normal development (e.g., our work on blood stem cells development), and cancer (e.g., stem cell differentiation in mammalian epidermis, EGFR/Notch/Wnt crosstalk in cancer cells, regulation of leukemic blood stem cells).
  2. The development of tools and design of algorithms that are specifically tailored for modelling and analyzing biological networks (e.g., bounded-asynchrony, synthesis algorithms for gene regulatory networks). We put a lot of emphasis on constructing user-friendly tools (i.e., visual, flexible), in order to facilitate the integration of such computational tools as mainstream techniques in biological and medical research (e.g., Bio Model Analyzer).

Projects

The executable path to Myc

Established: August 6, 2012

Myc is a key oncogene in various cancers occurring across a diverse range of tissues. In order to better understand and treat these cancers, it is vital that we understand how the opposing functions of Myc, proliferation and apoptosis, are…

Predictive dynamic model of Glioblastoma early development

Established: September 2, 2013

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most malignant form of brain cancer, being characterised by relentless growth and aggressive invasion into the healthy brain tissue, resulting in extremely poor outcome. Given the complexity and cell heterogeneity observed in…

Decoding transcriptional programs of blood cell development

Established: December 3, 2012

Understanding the mechanisms that govern stem cell self-renewal and cell fate decisions are fundamental to regenerative medicine and to understanding how these mechanisms are perturbed in disease states. Blood cell development (haematopoiesis) has long stood as a paradigm for studying…

Publications

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Group Members

  • Steven Woodhouse (Postdoc, MSRC)
  • Matthew Clarke (PhD student, University of Cambridge)
  • Joseph McAbee (MD/PhD student, University of Cambridge, joint with Colin Watts)
  • Chee Yee Lim (PhD student, University of Cambridge, joint with Bertie Gottgens)
  • Dana Silverbush (PhD student, Tel-Aviv University)
  • Aleksejs Sazonovs (PhD student, University of Cambridge)
  • Emilie Feral (MSc student, University of Cambridge)
  • Ben Hall (BMA team, MSRC)
  • Nir Piterman (BMA team, MSRC)
  • David Benque (BMA team, MSRC)
  • Nikita Skoblov (BMA team, MSRC)
  • Sergey Berezin (BMA team, MSRC)

Alumni

  • Marc Schaub (M.Sc. student, EPFL, 2005-2006)
  • Dennis Wang (M.Sc. student, Cambridge University, 2008)
  • Antje Beyer (M.Sc. student, Cambridge University, 2008)
  • Maria Mateescu (Ph.D. student, EPFL, joint with Tom Henzinger, 2006-2009)
  • Luke Church (Ph.D. student, Cambridge University, 2007-2009)
  • Avital Sadot (Post-doc, joint with David Harel, 2007-2010)
  • Garth Ilsley (Ph.D. student, EBI, Cambridge, 2007-2010)
  • Peter Ackermann (M.Sc. student, Cambridge University 2011, joint with Steve Oliver)
  • Lucinda Moore (M.Sc. student, Cambridge University 2012, joint with Bertie Gottgens)
  • Ryan Chuang (M.Sc. student, Cambridge University 2012, joint with Bertie Gottgens)
  • Antje Beyer (Ph.D. student, Cambridge University 2009-2012)
  • Ariel Feiglin (Ph.D. student, Bar-Ilan University, joint with Yanay Ofran)
  • Anthony Gitter (post-doc, MSR-NE, 2012-2014)
  • Ben Hall (post-doc, MSRC, 2012-2014)
  • Victoria Wang (MSc student, University of Cambridge 2015, joint with Gerard Evan)
  • Ali Sinan Koksal (Ph.D. student, UC Berkeley, joint with Ras Bodik)
  • Moritz Reiterer (MSc student, University of Cambridge 2016, joint with Gerard Evan)
  • Steven Woodhouse (PhD student, University of Cambridge 2013-2016, joint with Bertie Gottgens)

Collaborations

Events

Press