The WCMB at the University of Oxford is part of the Mathematical Institute and was established in 1983 as the Centre for Mathematical Biology under the directorship of Professor James D. Murray FRS as the first centre of its kind in Britain. It was funded by a government grant with the remit to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in the newly established field of mathematical biology, and to grow the subject within the UK. The fact that the UK is now a world leader in the field is due, in no small measure, to the work of Professor Murray. Since 1992, the CMB has been under the leadership of Professor Philip K. Maini FRS and, in 2013 it became the WCMB in recognition of generous funding from the Wolfson Foundation for the building of the Centre in the new Radcliffe Observatory site.
The WCMB has now grown to six full time faculty members and emphases lively and multidisciplinary teamwork with other research groups within the university, the UK and abroad. The key research themes are in developmental biology and disease (for example, cancer). Most research projects are jointly supervised with other departments, institutes or pharmaceutical industries. The projects encompass a very broad range of techniques, including ordinary, partial and stochastic differential equations, agent-based models, statistical analysis, algebraic and geometric approaches. Members of the WCMB work on models that involve biochemistry, biophysics, mechanics, networks, fluid dynamics, to name but a few. To date, the Centre has trained well over 100 graduate students and postdocs, 50+ of whom now have permanent academic positions, while others work in research in pharmaceutical companies, start-ups, or are at the early stages of academic research careers.