Portrait of Neil Dalchau

Neil Dalchau



I am a Scientist in the Biological Computation research group at Microsoft Research Cambridge. I also hold an Honorary Senior Research Associate position at the Department of Chemistry, UCL.

I am interested in how to program computation and decision-making in biological systems. The applications of programmed biology are numerous, including the synthesis of medicines and industrial chemicals, through to the direct treatment of disease. My background is in applied mathematics, from which I apply methods to investigate and demonstrate novel approaches to programming biology. I work in the areas of Synthetic Biology, DNA Computing, and Immunology.

I studied Mathematics at the University of Oxford, UK (2001-2005), before becoming a biologist at the University of Cambridge. My PhD project was a collaboration between Alex Webb‘s group at the Department of Plant Sciences and Jorge Goncalves in the Control Group at the Department of Engineering. Following my PhD, I briefly held a research associate position in the Control Group, working with Glenn Vinnicombe on applications of stochastic control theory to gene networks. I came to Microsoft Research as a postdoc in 2009, during which I worked with Andrew Phillips on modelling immune systems and synthetic gene networks. I became a permanent member of the Biological Computation group in 2012.