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Dr Simon Mitchell

Simon Mitchell

Dr Simon Mitchell (PhD)

Senior Lecturer in Systems Biology of Cancer Research
Location: Medical Research Building, University of Sussex, Falmer BN1 9PX

Areas of expertise: Systems Biology

Research areas: DLBCL and other haematological malignancies. Computational and mathematical modelling. Immunity and inflammation. Cell signalling and cell fate.

Personal website: 

Twitter handle: @SiFTW


Based on his training in Computer Science and Mathematics, Simon was awarded a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Studentship to pursue a Systems Biology PhD from the University of Manchester. Following his PhD in 2013, and a brief visiting researcher position at the University of Warwick, Simon undertook postdoctoral training in Prof Alexander Hoffmann’s lab at UCLA (USA). He was awarded a UCLA Collaboratory Fellowship to pursue collaborative research and graduate-level teaching for four consecutive years. Simon has published numerous first-author papers (including in Immunity, PNAS and PLOS Computational Biology), multiple reviews, contributed a chapter describing computational modeling approaches to textbooks of laboratory techniques, and contributed to multiple successfully-funded NIH grants. Driven to use systems biology to translate findings from molecular biology to clinical insight, Simon joined BSMS in 2019. Since then, Simon has obtained a Leukaemia UK John Goldman fellowship and a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. He is also a member of the NCRI Lymphoma Science Group.


Simon’s primary research focus is in understanding of how intracellular, molecular signalling networks control immune cell fate, and how misregulation of these molecular networks lead to haematological malignancies. His combination of immunology and haematological training lead to a particular interest in B-cell lymphomas. 

Simon combines data across temporal and spatial scales into computational simulations to explore how molecular events (taking <1 second at the nanometre scale) propagate through signalling dynamics and cell-population responses to contribute to whole-body outcomes (taking >1 month at scales of > 1 meter).

Simon has particular interest in the regulation of transcription factor NF-κB and its contribution to cell fate decisions in cancer, immunity and inflammation. His long-term ambition is to develop simulations capable of being parameterized from patient-specific data to be used in the clinic for personalized therapeutic guidance.

He also contributes computational systems biology approaches to many productive collaborations from neuroscience to iron regulation and is always looking for new collaborations where exciting biological questions require novel analytical approaches.


Simon is an academic tutor and leads an SSC on human iron regulation.Simon is passionate about making challenging subjects welcoming and engaging through research-led teaching and research supervision. Simon was awarded a UCLA fellowship to teach quantitative, computational skills, where his inclusive and engaging teaching style has taught many biologists and clinicians to write their first lines of computer code. He co-authored guidelines (published in Trends In Immunology) on teaching and training interdisciplinary students in increasingly data-rich environments, and has been invited to share his insight at international conferences.

Selected publications

Mitchell, Simon (2021) What will B will B: identifying molecular determinants of diverse B-cell fate decisions through systems biology. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 8. a616592 1-8. ISSN 2296-634X

Kennedy, Emma, Coulter, Eve Marie, Halliwell, Emma, Profitos-Peleja, Nuria, Walsby, Elisabeth, Clark, Barnaby, Phillips, Elizabeth H, Burley, Thomas A, Mitchell, Simon, Devereux, Stephen, Jones, Christopher Iain, Johnston, Rosalynd, Chevassut, Timothy J, Pepper, Chris, Pepper, Andrea G S and others, (2021) TLR9 expression in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia identifies a pro-migratory subpopulation and novel therapeutic target. Blood. pp. 1-32. ISSN 0006-4971

Oliver Metzig, Marie, Tang, Ying, Mitchell, Simon, Taylor, Brooks, Foreman, Robert, Wollman, Roy and Hoffmann, Alexander (2020) An incoherent feedforward loop interprets NFκB/RelA dynamics to determine TNF-induced necroptosis decisions. Molecular Systems Biology, 16 (12). e9677 1-17. ISSN 1744-4292

Latifi, Shahrzad, Mitchell, Simon, Habibey, Rouhollah, Hosseini, Fouzhan, Donzis, Elissa, Estrada-Sánchez, Ana María, Nejad, H Rezaei, Levine, Michael, Golshani, Peyman and Carmichael, S Thomas (2020) Neuronal network topology indicates distinct recovery processes after stroke. Cerebral Cortex. ISSN 1047-3211

Ngo, Kim A, Kishimoto, Kensei, Davis-Turak, Jeremy, Pimplaskar, Aditya Pimplaskar, Cheng, Zhang, Spreafico, Roberto, Chen, Emily Y, Tam, Amy, Ghosh, Gourisankar, Mitchell, Simon and Hoffman, Alexander (2020) Dissecting the regulatory strategies of NF-kB RelA target genes in the inflammatory response reveals differential transactivation logics. Cell reports, 30 (8). pp. 2758-2775. ISSN 2211-1247

Roy, Koushik, Mitchell, Simon, Liu, Yi, Ohta, Sho, Lin, Yu-sheng, Metzig, Marie Oliver, Nutt, Stephen L. and Hoffmann, Alexander (2019) A Regulatory Circuit Controlling the Dynamics of NFκB cRel Transitions B Cells from Proliferation to Plasma Cell Differentiation. Immunity, 50 (3). 616-628.e6. ISSN 1074-7613

Mitchell, Simon, Mercado, Ellen L, Adelaja, Adewunmi, Ho, Jessica Q, Cheng, Quen J, Ghosh, Gourisankar and Hoffmann, Alexander (2019) An NFkB activity calculator to delineate signaling crosstalk: type I and II interferons enhance NFkB via distinct mechanisms. Frontiers in Immunology, 10 (1425). pp. 1-16. ISSN 1664-3224

Mitchell, Simon and Hoffmann, Alexander (2019) Substrate complex competition – a regulatory motif that allows NFkB RelA to license but not amplify NFkB RelB. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116 (21). pp. 10592-10597. ISSN 1091-6490

Yeom, Kyu-Hyeon, Mitchell, Simon, Linares, Anthony J, Zheng, Sika, Lin, Chia-Ho, Wang, Xiao-Jun, Hoffmann, Alexander and Black, Douglas L (2018) Polypyrimidine tract-binding protein blocks miRNA-124 biogenesis to enforce its neuronal-specific expression in the mouse. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115 (47). E11061-E11070. ISSN 0027-8424

Mitchell, Simon and Hoffmann, Alexander (2018) Identifying noise sources governing cell-to-cell variability. Current Opinion in Systems Biology, 8. pp. 39-45. ISSN 2452-3100

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