I am a scientist based within the Biological Computation group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, and an affiliate researcher at the Wellcome Trust - Medical Research Council Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge. My research is focused on the theory of how and why cells perform computation. As part of this, I work on Decision-Making in Stem Cells, in a collaboration with experimental researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University of Padova. In this project, we are seeking to uncover the program that governs naïve pluripotency and differentiation decisions in embryonic stem cells.
I studied Mathematics at the University of Oxford, graduating with an MMath in 2007. During the summer of 2006 I completed a NERC internship at the British Antarctic Survey, working with Dr. Andrew Edwards on the foraging behaviour of the wandering albatross.
I began my DPhil. in 2007, also at Oxford, as a student of the Life Science Interface Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). The first year of my doctoral studies was spent completing an intensive training course coordinated by the DTC in the application of mathematical, physical, computational and engineering science techniques to the biomedical and life sciences. At the end of this year, I joined the Computational Biology group in the Computer Science department to begin my DPhil. research project, supervised by Prof. David Gavaghan, Prof. Helen Byrne, Prof. Jon Chapman and Dr. James Osborne. The focus of this project was the development of a computational model of the intestinal crypt, to facilitate investigation of the initial stages of carcinogenesis which precede colorectal cancer. This work was carried out in collaboration with Prof Inke Nathke, University of Dundee. I completed my DPhil. in December 2010, just prior to joining Microsoft Research as a postdoctoral researcher. In June 2014 I became a permanent researcher in the Biological Computation group.
- Yoli Shavit, Boyan Yordanov, Sara-Jane Dunn, Christoph M. Wintersteiger, Youssef Hamadi, and Hillel Kugler, Switching Gene Regulatory Networks, in 10th International Conference on Information Processing in Cells and Tissues (IPCAT 2015), Springer, September 2015.
- Sara-Jane Dunn, Graziano Martello, Boyan Yordanov, Stephen Emmott, and Austin Smith, Defining an essential transcriptional factor program for naïve pluripotency, in Science, vol. 344, no. 6188, pp. 1156 - 1160, 6 June 2014.
- James Osborne, Miguel Bernabeu, Maria Bruna, Ben Calderhead, Jonathan Cooper, Neil Dalchau, Sara-Jane Dunn, Alexander Fletcher, Robin Freeman, Derek Groen, Bernhard Knapp, Greg McInerny, Gary Mirams, Joe Pitt-Francis, Biswa Sengupta, David Wright, Christian Yates, David Gavaghan, Stephen Emmott, and Charlotte Deane, Ten simple rules for effective computational research, in PLoS Computational Biology, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. e1003506, PLoS Computational Biology (Public Library of Science Computational Biology), , March 2014.
- Sara-Jane Dunn, Inke S. Nathke, and James M. Osborne, Computational Models Reveal a Passive Mechanism for Cell Migration in the Crypt, in PLOS One, PLoS, 18 November 2013.
- G. R. Mirams, C. J. Arthurs, M. O. Bernabeu, R. Bordas, J. Cooper, A. Corrias, Y. Davit, S-J. Dunn, A. G. Fletcher, D. G. Harvey, M. E. Marsh, J. M. Osborne, P. Pathmanathan, J. Pitt-Francis, J. Southern, N. Zemzemi, and D. J. Gavaghan, Chaste: An Open Source C++ Library for Computational Physiology and Biology, in PLOS Comput. Biol., PLoS Computational Biology (Public Library of Science Computational Biology), , 14 March 2013.
- K. M. Young, K. Psachoulia, R. B. Tripathi, S-J. Dunn, L. Cossell, D. Attwell, K. Tohyama, and W. D. Richardson, Oligodendrocyte dynamics in the healthy adult CNS: evidence for myelin remodelling, in Neuron, 6 March 2013.
- Sara-Jane Dunn, Paul L. Appleton, Scott A. Nelson, Inke S. Nathke, David J. Gavaghan, and James M. Osborne, A Two-Dimensional Model of the Colonic Crypt Accounting for the Role of the Basement Membrane and Pericryptal Fibroblast Sheath, in PLoS Computational Biology, 24 May 2012.
- Sara-Jane Dunn, Alexander G. Fletcher, S. Jonathan Chapman, David J. Gavaghan, and James M. Osborne, Modelling the role of the basement membrane beneath a growing epithelial monolayer, in Journal of Theoretical Biology, Elsevier, December 2011.
- Sara-Jane Dunn and Jonathan P. Whiteley, Modeling Alveolar Volume Changes During Periodic Breathing in Heterogeneously Ventilated Lungs, in Annals of Biomedical Engineering, September 2010.