Dr Mike Trevor Cooling

BCom(Hons) BSc PhD GradDipSci

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Research Fellow


Mike has a background in Computer Science, Information Systems and Biology. After completing a Bachelor of Commerce (1st Class Honours) in Management Science and Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the University of Auckland, he went on to obtain a Graduate Diploma of Science in Biological Sciences, and a PhD in Bioengineering.

He leads the Systems Biomedicine Group at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, conducting research in computational physiology, synthetic biology and modularity.

Research | Current

Mike is driven by a desire to understand how cells work. He is particularly interested in signal transduction: from hormone or mechanical stimulation on the outside of the cell to changes in gene regulation on the inside.

These systems are so complex that only a few functions at a time can be examined experimentally, hence Mike employs Systems Biology techniques - using mathematical modelling to build and analyse 'in silico' replicas of cell function.

He also combines interests in semantic annotation, modularity and reuse to develop methodologies, databases and software tools to advance the field of computational model construction.

He is also interested in the emerging Synthetic Biology field, where biology is considered in some sense as a programmable resource, and has developed reusable modelling methods that combine important aspects of both Synthetic and Systems Biology.

Project links



Further information

Please visit the Systems Biomedicine Group to read more about Dr Cooling's research interests.


Teaching | Current


BIOMENG 261      Tissue and Molecular Engineering

INFOSYS 321       Enterprise Systems

ENGGEN 131        Introduction to Engineering Computation and Software Development (Tutor)

BIOMENG 361      Tissue and Molecular Engineering



BIOMENG 361      Tissue and Molecular Engineering


  • Aotearoa Foundation Research Fellow, 2014.
  • Annual Prize in Management Science and Information Systems, University of Auckland, 1996.
  • Senior Prize, Computer Science Department, University of Auckland, 1996.
  • New Zealand Computer Society Prize, Faculty of Commerce, University of Auckland, 1996.

Note, the Faculty of Commerce is now the Business School.

Areas of expertise

  • Systems Biology
  • Systems Biomedicine
  • Computational Physiology
  • Information Systems

Committees/Professional groups/Services

2013-    CellML Editorial Board

2011-     Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, Associate Investigator

2010-     International Society for Computational Biology (invited professional member)

2007-     Biophysical Society

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Cooling, M. T., & Atalag, K. (31/10/2016). What should be stored in Biobanks? Using computational modelling to unravel genotype to phenotype linkage. Poster presented at Australian Biomedical Engineering Conference, Brisbane, Australia. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Koray Atalag
  • Cooling, M. T., Nickerson, D. P., Nielsen, P. M., & Hunter, P. J. (2016). Modular modelling with physiome standards. The Journal of physiology
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Poul Nielsen, Peter Hunter, David Nickerson
  • Lim, Y. C., McGlashan, S. R., Cooling, M. T., & Long, D. S. (2015). Culture and detection of primary cilia in endothelial cell models. Cilia, 4
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27251
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sue McGlashan
  • Cooling, M. T., & Hunter, P. (2015). The CellML Metadata Framework 2.0 Specification. Journal of integrative bioinformatics, 12 (2)
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27009
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Hunter
  • Neal, M. L., Cooling, M. T., Smith, L. P., Thompson, C. T., Sauro, H. M., Carlson, B. E., ... Gennari, J. H. (2014). A reappraisal of how to build modular, reusable models of biological systems. PLoS computational biology, 10 (10)
  • Misirli, G., Hallinan, J. S., Yu, T., Lawson, J., Wimalaratne, S. M., Cooling, M. T., & Wipat, A. (2011). Model Annotation for Synthetic Biology: Automating Model to Nucleotide Sequence Conversion. Bioinformatics, 27 (7), 973-979. 10.1093/bioinformatics/btr048
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/7561
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Tommy Yu
  • Cooling, M. T., Rouilly, V., Misirli, G., Lawson, J., Yu, T., Hallinan, J., & Wipat, A. (2010). Standard virtual biological parts: a repository of modular modeling components for synthetic biology. Bioinformatics, 26 (7), 925-931. 10.1093/bioinformatics/btq063
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/7559
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Tommy Yu
  • Cooling, M. T., Hunter, P. J., & Crampin, E. J. (2008). Modelling Biological Modularity with CellML. IET Systems Biology, 2 (2), 73-79. 10.1049/iet-syb:20070020
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/24559
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Hunter, Edmund Crampin


Contact details

  • Media Contact

Primary location

Level 6, Room 639
New Zealand

Web links