School of Biosciences

Image of Dov Stekel

Dov Stekel

Professor of Computational Biology, Faculty of Science



I am Professor of computational Biology at the School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham. I have been working at the University of Nottingham since 2009, when I was appointed as Associate Professor, and have been Professor since 2018. Before working at the University of Nottingham, I spent five years at the University of Birmingham as Lecturer in Bioinformatics. I studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge and for a D.Phil. at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, supervised by Martin Nowak. My D.Phil. topic was on mathematical modeling of T lymphocyte recirculation and virus dynamics. Following my D.Phil., I worked briefly with Boris Vojnovic at the Gray Laboratory, before taking a position in the Bioinformatics group at Glaxo Wellcome Research and Development (as it was), and then as Head of Bioinformatics at Ed Southern's microarray company, Oxford Gene Technology. I left OGT after receiving a commission from Cambridge University Press to write Microarray Bioinformatics, and worked as a free-lance bioinformatics consultant during that time.

Teaching Summary

I teach on a range of modules associated with mathematical and computer modelling in the biological and environmental sciences. Specifically:

  • Computer Modelling in Science: Introduction (D224E4) - Year 2
  • Computer Modelling in Science: Applications (C135E9) - Year 3
  • Project Management - MSci year

Research Summary

We use mathematical, computing and statistical techniques to build predictive models for biological systems. There are three main areas of activity:

  • Antimicrobial resistance. We use mathematical and computer models at both molecular and population levels to study mechanisms for, and spread of, antimicrobial resistance, under the One Health Paradigm. Current work is focussed on the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in the environment, especially in agriculture and the food chain. Past work has included modelling plasmid regulation, and models for molecular mechanisms for antimicrobial metals, including zinc and mercury. We have also carried out in silico evolution of gene network responses to antimicrobial agents.
  • Resilience. We are also interested in using mathematical and computing techniques to describe and understand resilience, and factors that enable resilience. This is in varied domains, including funded work with Unilever on resilience of the oral microbiome, and Wellcome Trust funded work with the University of Pretoria and others on resilience in young people not in education, employment or training.
  • Quantitative bioinformatics. We retain an interest in using statistical and machine learning techniques as applied to large scale quantitative data sets from Omics technologies, including transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

We try, where possible, to work on projects with active collaborations with experimental biologists. While our main focus is on microbiology, we are happy to foster collaborations with scientists working in any area of biology, and this range is reflected in our publications.

Selected Publications

  • SHAW, LAURENCE M., BLANCHARD, ADAM, CHEN, QINGLIN, AN, XINLI, DAVIES, PEERS, TOTEMEYER, SABINE, ZHU, YONG-GUAN and STEKEL, DOV J., 2019. DirtyGenes: testing for significant changes in gene or bacterial population compositions from a small number of samples SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. 9,
  • STEKEL, DOV, 2018. Antibiotic resistance pre-dates penicillin NATURE. 562(7726), 192-192
  • ZHU, YONG-GUAN, GILLINGS, MICHAEL, SIMONET, PASCAL, STEKEL, DOV, BANWART, STEVEN and PENUELAS, JOSEP, 2018. Human dissemination of genes and microorganisms in Earth's Critical Zone GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY. 24(4), 1488-1499
  • ZHU, YONG-GUAN, GILLINGS, MICHAEL, SIMONET, PASCAL, STEKEL, DOV, BANWART, STEVE and PENUELAS, JOSEP, 2017. Microbial mass movements SCIENCE. 357(6356), 1099-1100

School of Biosciences

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Nr Loughborough
LE12 5RD, UK

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