Simon grew up at the south-eastern edge of the Ruhrgebiet and moved right into the same to study Medical Biology at the University of Duisburg-Essen. He performed his undergraduate (B.Sc.) and PhD work on mechanisms of protein quality control in the laboratory of Prof. Michael Ehrmann (https://www.uni-due.de/zmb/microbiology/index.php). His PhD work was concerned with how the human serine protease HTRA1 disintegrates and proteolyzes fibrillar aggregates composed of the tau protein, which are found in Alzheimer’s Disease and other pathologies. He then, in 2015, moved to Berkeley for a postdoc in the lab of Eva Nogales (http://cryoem.berkeley.edu/) to work on mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and learn the technique of single-particle cryo-electron microscopy. In the Nogales Lab, he studied chromatin interactions of the human histone methyltransferase complex Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) and elucidated structures PRC2 bound to dinucleosomes. Moving back to Germany, Simon was appointed a Junior Research Group Leader at the Center of Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC), where is now pursuing his structural and biochemical studies on epigenetic regulators and other protein complexes involved in stress response, homeostasis and aging, with a strong emphasis on cancer associated multi-protein complexes. Besides science, Simon his passionate about music, food and his family.
The complexity of life and its beauty at the molecular level leaves me with wonder and admiration over and over again. Doing science is a great privilege and we all shall practice with optimism, humility and happiness!