skip to content

Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory


Diana's interest in biology started as a physics undergrad studying topological properties of the transcriptional network in budding yeast. After that, she was hooked and moved to soft matter and protein self-assembly for her PhD, under the supervision of Dr. Charbonneau at Duke. Unsatisfied with addressing questions exclusively on the computational side, she embarked onto a hybrid postdoc in Dr. Hallatschek lab at UC Berkeley, where she studied the evolutionary consequences of spatial range expansion combining microbiology and mathematical modeling.
CV Positions:
  • University Lecturer, Dept. of Physics, University of Cambridge

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California-Berkeley (2014-2018)

  • PhD in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Duke University (2014)

  • MSc in Theoretical Physics, Universita' degli Studi di Milano (2008)

  • BSc in Physics, Universita' degli Studi di Milano (2006)


We are fascinated by how evolution shapes the interactions at the molecular and single-cell scale to give rise to collective behaviors at the population scale. By using an interdisciplinary approach rooted in experimental microbiology, statistical physics and population genetics, we strive to uncover the fundamental principles behind these phenomena.


Key publications: 

Kayser J.*, Schreck C.*, Gralka M., Fusco D., Hallatschek O. Collective motion conceals fitness differences in crowded cellular populations
Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3:125-134 (2019)

Gralka M., Fusco D., Martis S., Hallatschek O. Convection shapes the tradeoff between antibiotic efficacy and the selection for resistance in spatial gradients.
Physical Biology, 14(4):045001 (2017)

Fusco D., Gralka M., Kayser J., Anderson A., Hallatschek O. Excess of mutational jackpot events in expanding populations revealed by spatial Luria-Delbrück experiments.
Nature Communications, 7:12760 (2016)

Fusco D., Headd J.J., De Simone A., Wang J., Charbonneau P. Characterizing protein crystal contacts and their role in crystallization: rubredoxin as a case study
Soft Matter,  10:290-302 (2014)

University Assistant Professor in Biological Physics
Fellow, Girton College

Contact Details

Email address: 
Room 926, Rutherford Building
Cavendish Laboratory
19 JJ Thomson Avenue
+44 (0) 1223 337435