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Engineering Biology in Cambridge



Andrew Phillips leads the Biological Computation Group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, where he is developing methods and software for analysing and programming biological systems. Andrew received a postgraduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, under a scholarship from the Barbados government. He pursued a PhD in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, where he developed methods for specifying and implementing secure mobile applications. He joined Microsoft Research Cambridge in 2005, to conduct research at the intersection of programming language theory and biological modelling. In 2011 he received a Technology Review TR35 award for work on computer-assisted genetic engineering. The award recognises the world’s leading innovators under the age of 35. His hobbies include snowboarding and kite-surfing, he is a black belt in Chinese kick-boxing and is a qualified ballroom dancing instructor.


Andrew is currently developing methods and software for understanding and programming information processing in biological systems. One of his aims is to develop a language in which large models of biological systems can be programmed from simple components in a modular fashion. An ultimate goal is to be able to program and simulate a biological system on a computer, before implementing the final design inside a living organism.


Key publications: 
A spatially localized architecture for fast and modular DNA computing 

Gourab Chatterjee, Neil Dalchau, Richard A. Muscat, Andrew Phillips, Georg Seelig Nature Nanotechnology Nature Publishing Group July 24, 2017 View abstract View External Link

Automated, Constraint-Based Analysis of Tethered DNA Nanostructures 

Matthew R. Lakin, Andrew PhillipsInternational Conference on DNA Computing and Molecular Programming Springer September 24, 2017 View abstract View External Link

Predicting DNA hybridization kinetics from sequence 

Jinny X. Zhang, John Z. Fang, Wei Duan, Lucia R. Wu, Angela W. Zhang, Neil Dalchau, Boyan Yordanov, Rasmus Petersen, Andrew Phillips, David Yu Zhang Nature Chemistry Nature Publishing Group November 6, 2017 View abstract View External Link

Head of Biological Computation Group, Microsoft Research
 Andrew  Phillips

Contact Details

Microsoft Research Cambridge
21 Station Road
+44 (0)1223 479 700
Not available for consultancy