Simon WM John, PhD

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology



BSc, Zoology & Genetics, University College Cardiff
PhD, Biology, McGill University
Postdoctoral Training, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill



Campus: The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME
Office: NRB 2120
Laboratory: NRB 2065

Contact Information

Office Phone: 207-288-6496
Lab Phone: 207-288-6476
E-mail   Send an e-mail


Graduate Programs



Research Synopsis

Our research investigates the molecular features of complex diseases that lead to the death of neural cells (neurodegenerations). Most of our projects focus on glaucoma. Glaucoma is a major cause of human blindness and is often associated with elevated pressure within the eye itself (intraocular pressure, or IOP). The harmfully high pressure damages retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) resulting in a pressure-induced neurodegeneration. We use mouse models to study glaucoma. We combine genetics with genomics, cell/molecular biology and physiology to understand glaucoma. We are identifying new genes and pathways that cause glaucoma. We study how abnormal ocular development and other processes lead to high IOP and glaucoma and are determining how high intraocular pressure damages retinal neurons. We are also investigating possible treatments and are currently experimenting with a new radiation treatment we discovered that completely prevents glaucomatous neurodegeneration in the vast majority of treated animals.


Lab Members

Nicholas Tolman, PhD Student in Genetics - JAX Track   Send an e-mail Lab Research Page

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development