Shelley, a distinguished applied mathematician, will lead the center in its mission of better understanding complex biological processes through the development and application of computational tools and theory.
“I’m overjoyed to continue CCB’s growth,” Shelley says. “It’s a tremendously exciting and unique opportunity as a scientist to help lead this center and to push forward and form new areas of biological research.”
Shelley plans to broaden CCB by expanding into emerging, cutting-edge research areas such as the 3D organization and regulation of gene expression; higher-order structures beyond individual cells; evolutionary and comparative genomics; and biological networks and regulation in cells. He also hopes to cement CCB as a nexus and resource for the computational biology community in New York City and beyond.
Shelley joined the Simons Foundation in 2016, serving as group leader for biophysical modeling at CCB. His research areas include cellular biophysics, biological materials and self-organization in biology.
“The leadership and members of CCB have great respect for Mike and are very pleased that our search for a new director resulted in his being selected,” says Jim Simons, chair of the Simons Foundation. “We are very fortunate to have had Mike in our midst.”
“The directors of all the Flatiron centers are excited about Mike leading CCB and look forward to working with him as the institute continues its development,” says Antoine Georges, managing director of the Flatiron Institute and director of the Center for Computational Quantum Physics.
In addition to his work at the Flatiron Institute, Shelley co-founded and co-directs the Courant Institute’s Applied Mathematics Laboratory at New York University, where he is the Lilian and George Lyttle Professor of Applied Mathematics. He holds a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Before joining NYU, Shelley was a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University and a member of the mathematics faculty at the University of Chicago.
He has received the François Frenkiel Award from the American Physical Society and the Julian Cole Lectureship from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and he is a fellow of both societies.
Shelley takes the reins from previous CCB director Leslie Greengard, who now heads the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Mathematics. “Leslie left an excellent foundation to build upon,” Shelley says. “CCB is still a young center and has newfound room to grow.”