Simon W. M. John, PhD is the Robert L. Burch III Professor of Ophthalmic Sciences at the Department of Ophthalmology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and a Member of the Zuckerman Institute at Columbia. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Jackson Laboratory, Adjunct Professor in the Genetics Program at Tufts University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and an Affiliate of the New York Genome Center.
Dr. John graduated with high honors in Zoology and Genetics
, from University College Cardiff, Wales. He earned his Ph.D. in Biology and Human Genetics at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. His Ph.D. investigated the molecular biology and population genetics of phenylketonuria under the mentorship of the eminent human geneticists Dr. Rima Rozen and Dr. Charles Scriver.
To gain deeper expertise in common, complex diseases and their experimental dissection using animal models, Dr. John next conducted his postdoctoral training studying essential hypertension (high blood pressure) and cardiovascular disease. His postdoctoral training was at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA under the mentorship of Nobel Laureate Dr. Oliver Smithies. Dr. John next accepted his first independent position as Assistant Professor at The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine. At this time, Dr. John switched his attention to ocular diseases and glaucoma, applying his strengths in human genetics, animal models and physiology to longstanding questions and needs.
By combining his unique skills with bold experimentation, and by forging close collaboration with ophthalmologists, Dr. John pioneered the use of mice for glaucoma research - including adapting tools from the human clinic to mice and the development of novel tools and models. He made rapid progress, providing a wealth of new mechanistic information and being central in retooling and reinvigorating the field.