Dr. Ben Shirt-Ediss is a computer scientist with a special interest in modelling chemical, biochemical and physico-chemical systems. He is currently a Research Associate in Computational Nanobiology within the ICOS group at Newcastle University.
In the Portabolomics project, Dr. Shirt-Ediss is involved with the computational/theoretical modelling of biomolecular processes, such as the circadian rhythm oscillator. Also, he is involved with modelling the formation of DNA/RNA-based nano-structures.
The PhD thesis of Dr. Shirt-Ediss was centred on the Origins of Life problem. As part of this work, he developed and analysed coarse-grain models of “protocells”, which are compartmentalised chemical reaction systems, hypothesised to have been the primitive structures preceding the first membrane-bound cells on the early earth, around 4 billion years ago.