Denis Noble

Author Biography and Research Interests: 

Denis Noble received his PhD from University College London in 1961, where his project to produce the first computer model of the heart had already resulted in two articles published in Nature in 1960. Between 1984 and 2004, Denis Noble was the Burdon Sanderson Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology at Oxford University (a Chair financed by the British Heart Foundation), and is currently the co-Director of Computational Physiology.

His research primarily focuses on the use of computer models of biological organs and systems to interpret their particular functions, from the molecular level to reflecting the whole body levels. With its international collaborators, his team has used supercomputers to create the first virtual organ, the virtual heart. As Secretary-General of IUPS (IN FULL) Noble has played a major role in launching the Physiome Project, an international collaboration using computer simulations to create the quantitative physiological models necessary to interpret the genome.

Most recently, Denis Noble has authored the widely acclaimed The Music of Life.


The Music of Life: A new view on Nature and Nurture

Denis Noble

15 Oct 2008; Science Oxford.

Living things are much more than just packages of DNA. In fact, organisms interact with their genes and environment in a complex way, forcing biologists to question their assumptions about the nature of humanity.

Molecules to Organisms: What directs the music of life?

Denis Noble

22 Jan 2008; Museum of the History of Science.

Denis Noble discuses his book 'the music of life from molecules to organisms"

  • The Music of Life: Biology Beyond Genes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • “A modification of the Hodgkin-Huxley equations applicable to Purkinje fibre action and pacemaker potentials.” Journal of Physiology 160 (1962): pp.317-52.
  • RW. Tsien. “Outward membrane currents activated in the plateau range of potentials in cardiac Purkinje fibres.” Journal of Physiology 200 (1969): pp.205-31.
  • RE. McAllister, RW. Tsien. “Reconstruction of the electrical activity of cardiac Purkinje fibres.” Journal of Physiology 251 (1975): pp.1-59.
  • D. DiFrancesco. “A model of cardiac electrical activity incorporating ionic pumps and concentration changes.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 307 (1985): pp.353-98.
  • DW. Hilgemann. “Excitation-contraction coupling and extracellular calcium transients in rabbit atrium: Reconstruction of basic cellular mechanisms.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B 230 (1987): pp.163-205.
  • JJB. Jack, RW Tsien. “Electric Current Flow in Excitable Cells.” Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975.
  • The Initiation of the Heartbeat. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975.

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