Katie Bentley

Katie Bentley is group Leader of the Cellular Adaptive Behaviour Lab at the Francis Crick Institute and Senior Lecturer at Kings College London. Katie earned a PhD in Computer Science from University College London in 2006 investigating morphological plasticity in biological and robotic systems after studying the Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems (EASy) MSc, University of Sussex 2002. Katie was appointed Assistant Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School in 2013 running an interdisciplinary wet and dry vascular computational biology lab at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She also ran two satellite labs, one at Uppsala University, Sweden and the other at Boston University in the Biological Design Centre. She joined the Francis Crick Institute and the informatics Department at King’s College London in 2018.

The Cellular Adaptive Behaviour lab investigates individual to collective behaviour as cells construct tissues in our bodies, with a focus on adaptive blood vessel growth in development and maladapted vessel growth in diseases such as retinopathy and cancer. Just like humans, cells continually sense their local environment and adapt their behaviour accordingly, either as individuals or as a group. They communicate and ‘decide’ whether to cooperate or compete with each other and they can dramatically change their shape or arrangement. Dr. Bentley’s research work attempts to create a deeper understanding of how this complex dance unfolds across time and space, from molecules, cells to tissues.