Prof John Terry

Professor of Biomedical Modelling


Telephone: 01392 725274 or (RILD) 01392 (40)6779 or (RILD) 01392 (40)6765

Extension: (Streatham) 5274

Director of Research (Mathematics & Computer Science), Co-Director Wellcome Trust Centre for Biomedical Modelling and Analysis, Director EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare

Hot off the press! We have openings for three postdoctoral researchers and a scientific programmer to join our recently established EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare. Our new web resource BioDynamics has recently launched, and the next BioDynamics Conference will be held in Exeter from September 7 through 9 2016. For further details and to register click here


I am Professor of Biomedical Modelling, Director of Research for the Discipline of Mathematics and Computer Science, Co-Director of the Wellcome Trust ISSF2 Centre for Biomedical Modelling and Analysis and Director of the EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare. My research is focussed on the development and application of mathematical and computational methodologies for understanding the dynamics of biomedical systems, with particular interests in the transitions between healthy and diseased states in the human brain and also in the dynamics of endocrine systems. Since 2003 I have supervised the research training  and development of 30 individuals, including 10 PhD students.


The Centre for Biomedical Modelling and Analysis consists of 6 exceptional research fellows whose expertise spans mathematics, computer science, physics, biological imaging and public engagement and involvement.

At present the wider team consists of a lecturer - Marc Goodfellow, an MRC funded research fellow - Jamie Walker, 4 PDRAs - Marinho Lopes, George Petkov, Helmut Schmidt, Eder Zavala and 4 PhD students - Lauric Ferrat, Harry Green, Hannah Smithers (co-supervised with Andy Randall) and Wessel Woldman. We will shortly be joined by a number of additional PDRAs and will soon be one of the largest groups devoted to mathematical and computer science research at the interface with biomedicine and healthcare in the country!

Eder Zavala works on modelling the complex gene regulatory network mechanisms of the pituitary and adrenal glands. Marinho Lopes works on complex networks in epielpsy. George Petkov works on the theory of complex networks to explain neural data. Helmut Schmidt (PhD at Nottingham) works on an Epilepsy Research UK funded project exploring the use of computer models for predicting treatment responsiveness in patients with generalised epilepsy. Jamie Walker (PhD at Bristol) holds an MRC funded Special Training Fellowship in Computational Biology, where is interested in the multi-level network basis of hormone pulsatility in the HPA-axis. Wessel Woldman studies dynamic mechanisms of epilepsy, and Harry Green is exploring the use of phenomenological models to understand the mechanisms of cardiac arhythmias. Lauric joins us with a background in statistics and will focus on developing methods for enabling the clinical translation of physioloigcally inspired neural-mass models.


Graduating in Mathematics with 1st class honours from the University of Reading in 1997, I subsequently studied for a PhD in Applied Mathematics jointly between the University of Surrey and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Following postdoctoral positions at the University of Warwick and the University of Queensland, I was appointed Lecturer in Mathematical Sciences at Loughborough University in 2002. From 2006–2010, I was first Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer and finally Reader within the Department of Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol. I then moved to a Prize Readership in Theoretical Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield in 2010, before joining the University of Exeter in 2012.

I have a long track-record in multidisciplinary research with scientists in clinical and experimental neuroscience, where I am internationally renowned for systems modelling approaches in neuroscience and endocrinology, in particular applications to epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis. Current research includes:

- Characterising the evolution of epilepsies using neural modelling techniques, with the aim to create improved diagnosis techniques for clinicians and to better predict treatment outcomes.

- Developing tools for describing networks of interacting brain regions and characterising seizure initiation based upon network structure.

- Developing models for interpreting the effects of Deep Brain Stimulation with applications to Parkinson’s and Epilepsy.

- Exploring the interactions between neural dynamics and hormone secretions in the Hypothalmic-Pituituary-Adrenal axis; by understanding the mechanisms responsible for fluctuations observed in blood concentrations of steroids, more appropriate treatments for a number of clinical conditions may be developed.

I have authored over 50 publications of original research, as well as a number of conference proceedings. A member of the steering committee of the UK’s Mathematical Neuroscience Network, as well as the UK’s Neuroinformatics Node, I sit on the editorial boards of the Journal of Mathematical Neuroscience and also Nonlinear Biomedical Physics, and have acted as an associate editor for PLoS Computational Biology, as well as guest editor for special issues of Progress in Molecular Biology and Biophysics and the European Journal of Neuroscience. I am a member of the EPSRC peer-review college, as well as a member of the MRCs strategic skills panel. I also act as a reviewer for several mathematics and neuroscience journals.

My research group is or has been funded by the EPSRC, the MRC, the BBSRC, the Leverhulme Trust, the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society. In total I have held or co-held in excess of £9 million of research funding since 2003. Currently active grants include Programme Grants on Epilepsy and HPA function from MRC, a Wellcome Trust ISSF2 award, and epilepsy from Epilepsy Research UK.

Outside of work I enjoy running where I have at one time or other run for and managed Westbury Harriers and Hermitage Harriers. Recent results are available here. Presently I run unattached.