Kabir Husain

theoretical physics, molecular biology, and experimental evolution


I am a Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London. I work on problems in statistical physics and biological evolution.

This work uses tools from theory (statistical physics, information theory, evolutionary dynamics) as well as experimental biology approaches (molecular biology, yeast genetics, laboratory evolution).

Prior to this, I was a Yen Biophysics Fellow in the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago, in the group of Arvind Murugan. From 2018 to 2021 I was supported by a fellowship from the James S. McDonnell Foundation. I did my PhD with Madan Rao and Jitu Mayor at the NCBS, Bangalore, where I worked on the organisation and transfer of information at the cell surface.


Jan 02, 2024 The lab opens its doors at UCL! I’ve started as a Lecturer (the UK equivalent of Assistant Professor) in the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy.
Nov 18, 2023 I spoke on our ongoing theory + experimental work on DNA polymerase evolution at a meeting on Stochasticity and Plasticity in Living Systems in beautiful Sakleshpur, India.
Apr 21, 2023 A talk on The evolution of kinetic proofreading at the Physics of Life meeting at CUNY, alongside other fantastic postdoc and student talks.
Sep 15, 2022 I spoke at a Biophysical Society meeting for Beginner Scientists at the Interface of Physics and Biology, alongside my old comrade in science Darius Koester!
Mar 23, 2022 I gave a recorded talk at the APS March Meeting in a session on Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics.

selected publications

  1. 2020PNAS
    Tuning environmental timescales to evolve and maintain generalists
    Vedant Sachdeva ,  Kabir Husain ,  Jiming Sheng , and 2 more authors
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2020
  2. 2019CellSystems
    Kalman-like Self-Tuned sensitivity in biophysical sensing
    Kabir Husain ,  Weerapat Pittayakanchit ,  Gopal Pattanayak , and 2 more authors
    Cell systems, 2019
  3. 2020MBE
    Physical constraints on epistasis
    Kabir Husain ,  and  Arvind Murugan
    Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2020