Andrea Rocco

Dr Andrea Rocco

Senior Lecturer in Physics and Mathematical Biology
PhD (Physics), MInstP, FHEA
+44 (0)1483 686424
14 BB 03

Academic and research departments

Department of Physics, School of Biosciences and Medicine.


Research interests

Research projects

Current Group Members

Postdoctoral level

  • Saeed Farjami, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dynamical models of stem cell differentiation
  • Gerardo Aquino, Visiting Researcher, Noise-induced transitions in gene expression

PhD candidates

  • Lester Buxton, PhD candidate, The role of noise in quantum decoherence (Supervisors: A. Rocco, Jim Al-Khalili)
  • Emily Timon, PhD candidate, Classical and quantum thermodynamics emerging from open quantum system frameworks with structured environments (Supervisors: A. Rocco, Jim Al-Khalili)
  • Sapphire Lally, PhD candidate, Modelling proton tunnelling in DNA (Supervisors: Jim Al-Khalili, A. Rocco)
  • Michael Clarke-Whittet, PhD candidate, Noise and quantum decoherence in cellular systems (Supervisors: A. Gerber, A. Rocco)
  • Sonal Dahale, PhD candidate, Transcriptomic data-driven metabolic modelling of nematodes for biocontrol of agricoltural, domestic, and veterinary pests (Supervisors: C. Avignone-Rossa, A. Rocco)

Former Group Members

Postdoctoral level

  • Gerardo Aquino, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stochastic fluctuations in cell differentiation
  • Finn Gubay, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stochastic fluctuations in cell differentiation
  • Hossein Nili, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Mathematical modelling of biofilm formation and treatment in the upper respiratory tract

PhD students (completed)

  • Nick Werren, Memory effects in open quantum systems, (Supervisors: A. Rocco, Jim Al-Khalili - completed 2020)
  • Jake Reeves, A computational study of the role of nuclear receptor interactions in steatosis (Supervisors: C. Avignone-Rossa, A. Rocco - completed 2020)
  • Winifred Nyinoh, Molecular investigation of drug synergy in mycobacteria, (Supervisors: J. McFadden, A. Rocco - completed 2018)

MSc students (completed)

  • Ethan Wyke, MSc in Physics, Quantum tunnelling through a stochastically fluctuating barrier (Supervisors: A. Rocco, J. Al-Khalili - completed 2017)
  • Noah Mesfin, MSc in Systems Biology, A model for the expression dynamics of the nicotinic acid degradation pathway in pseudomonas putida KT2440 (Supervisors: J. Jimenez, A. Rocco - completed 2014)

Research Collaborations

My teaching

My publications


G. Aquino and A. Rocco, Bimodality in gene expression without feedback: From Gaussian white noise to log-normal coloured noise, Math. Biosci. Eng. 17 (6), 6993 (2020)

S.M. Hingley-Wilson, N. Ma, Y. Hu, R. Casey, A. Bramming, R.J. Curry, H.L. Tang, H. Wu, R.E. Butler, W.R. Jacobs, A. Rocco*, J. McFadden*, Loss of phenotypic inheritance associated with ydcI mutation leads to increased frequency of small, slow persisters in Escherichia coli, PNAS 117 (8), 4152 (2020) [ * equal senior authorship]

K. Petratou, T. Subkhankulova, J.A. Lister, A. Rocco, H. Schwetlick, R.N. Kelsh, A systems biology approach uncovers the core gene regulatory network governing iridophore fate choice from the neural crest, PLoS genetics 14 (10), e1007402 (2018)

L. Vibert, G. Aquino, I. Gehring, T. Subkankulova, T.F. Schilling, A. Rocco, R.N. Kelsh, An ongoing role for Wnt signaling in differentiating melanocytes in vivo, Pigment cell & melanoma research 30 (2), 219 (2017)

Y. Hu, S. Wang, N. Ma, S.M. Hingley-Wilson, A. Rocco, J. McFadden, H. Tang, Trajectory energy minimization for cell growth tracking and genealogy analysis, Royal Society Open Science 4 (5), UNSP 170207 (2017)

A.A. Mannan, Y. Toya, K. Shimizu, J. McFadden, A.M. Kierzek*, A. Rocco*, Integrating kinetic model of E. coli with genome scale metabolic fluxes overcomes its open system problem and reveals bistability in central metabolism, PloS one 10 (10), e0139507 (2015) [ * equal senior authorship]

A. Rocco*, A. Kierzek, J. McFadden, Slow protein fluctuations explain the emergence of growth phenotypes and persistence in clonal bacterial populations, PloS one 8 (1), e54272 (2013) [ * corresponding author]

A. Rocco, A. Kierzek, J. McFadden, Stochastic Effects in Metabolic Networks, Encyclopedia of Systems Biology, 1991, Springer (2013)

A. Rocco, A. Kierzek, J. McFadden, Stochastic gene expression in bacterial pathogens: A mechanism for persistence? Systems Biology of Tuberculosis, 157, Springer (2013)

E.R. Greenhill, A. Rocco, L. Vibert, M. Nikaido, R.N. Kelsh, An iterative genetic and dynamical modelling approach identifies novel features of the gene regulatory network underlying melanocyte development, PLoS genetics 7 (9), e1002265 (2011) [see also modelling supplementary material]

E. Greenhill, A. Rocco, M. Nikaido, R.N. Kelsh, Melanocytes, modeling and maths-do we really understand differentiation? Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research 5 (22), 21 (2009)

L. Vibert, A. Rocco, M. Nikkaido, E.R. Greenhill, R.N. Kelsh, Testing in vivo the genetic regulatory network underlying melanocyte differentiation, Mechanisms of Development 126, S316 (2009)

A. Rocco, Stochastic control of metabolic pathways, Phys. Biol. 6, 016002 (2009)

G. Lunter, A. Rocco, N. Mimouni, A. Heger, A. Caldeira, J. Hein, Uncertainty in Homology Inferences: Assessing and Improving Genomic Sequence Alignment, Genome Res. 18, 298 (2008) [see also commentary paper]

U. Ebert, C. Montijn, T.M.P. Briels, W. Hundsdorfer, B. Meulenbroek, A. Rocco, E.M. van Veldhuizen, The multiscale nature of streamers, Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 15, S118 (2006)

B. Meulenbroek, A. Rocco, U. Ebert, Streamer branching rationalized by conformal mapping techniques, Phys Rev. E 69, 067402 (2004)

B. Coluzzi, A. Crisanti, E. Marinari, F. Ritort, A. Rocco, A New Method to Compute the Configurational Entropy in Spin Glasses, Eur. Phys. J. B 32, 495 (2003)

A. Rocco, U. Ebert and W. Hundsdorfer, Branching of Negative Streamers in free flight, Phys. Rev. E 66, 035102 (2002)

A. Crisanti, F. Ritort, A. Rocco, and M. Sellitto, Is the Stillinger and Weber decomposition relevant for coarsening models? J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 14, 1523 (2002)

A. Rocco, L. Ramírez-Piscina, J. Casademunt, Kinematic reduction of reaction-diffusion fronts with multiplicative noise: Derivation of stochastic sharp-interface equations, Phys. Rev. E 65, 056116 (2002)

A. Torcini, A. Vulpiani, A. Rocco, Front propagation in chaotic and noisy reaction diffusion systems: A discrete-time map approach, Eur. Phys. J. B 25, 333 (2002)

A. Rocco, J. Casademunt, U. Ebert, and W. van Saarloos, Diffusion coefficient of propagating fronts with multiplicative noise, Phys. Rev. E 65, 012102 (2002)

G. Tripathy, A. Rocco, J. Casademunt, and W. van Saarloos, Universality class of fluctuating pulled fronts, Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 5215 (2001)

A. Crisanti, F. Ritort, A. Rocco, and M. Sellitto, Inherent Structures and non-equilibrium dynamics of 1D constrained kinetic models: A comparison study, J. Chem. Phys. 113, 10615 (2000)

F.X. Magdaleno, A. Rocco, J. Casademunt, Interface dynamics in Hele-Shaw flows with centrifugal forces: Preventing cusp singularities with rotation, Phys. Rev. E 62, R5887 (2000)

A. Rocco, U. Ebert, and W. van Saarloos, Subdiffusive fluctuations of "pulled" fronts with multiplicative noise, Phys. Rev. E 62, R13 (2000)

P. Grigolini, A. Rocco and B.J. West, Fractional Calculus as a Macroscopic Manifestation of Randomness, Phys. Rev. E 59 2603 (1999)

A. Rocco and B.J. West, Fractional Calculus and the Evolution of Fractal Phenomena, Physica A 265, 535 (1999)

A. Rocco and P. Grigolini, The Markov approximation revisited: Inconsistency of the standard quantum Brownian motion model, Phys. Lett. A 252, 115 (1999)

P. Allegrini, P. Grigolini, A. Rocco, Slow motion as a thermal gradient effect, Phys. Lett. A 233, 309 (1997)