Simon studied molecular biology at the University of Edinburgh and did his PhD at the University of Cambridge with Professor Steve Jackson (Gurdon Institute). He then conducted EMBO and HFSP funded postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School, Boston, with Prof. Nick Dyson (MGH Cancer Centre) and Prof. Marc Vidal (Dana Farber Cancer Institute).
In 2002, he returned to the UK to establish the DNA Damage Response Laboratory at Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute, Clare Hall Laboratories. He is now a senior group leader at the Francis Crick Institute and an honorary Professor at University College London.
Simon's lab exploits the respective experimental strengths of C. elegans and mouse genetics, cell biology and biochemistry to study the mechanisms of DNA double strand break repair in mitotic and meiotic cells.
Over the years Simon's lab has discovered novel DNA repair genes and provided molecular insights into human diseases. As a result of his ground-breaking work, Simon has received a number of prestigious accolades for his work, notably election as a member of EMBO and to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
He has also been awarded the Colworth Medal, the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) Young Investigator Award, the Eppendorf/Nature Award for Young European Investigators, the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award, the EMBO Gold Medal and the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research. He has also given numerous prize lectures, most notably the Royal Society Francis Crick Prize lecture and the Mendel Lecture.
In 2016, Simon helped to establish Artios Pharma Ltd, where he functions as Senior Vice President Science Strategy alongside his main role as Senior Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute. In addition to his role as SVP Science Strategy, Simon chairs the SAB for Artios and is a member of the Executive board. Artios Pharma Ltd is building an innovative DNA Damage Response (DDR) target pipeline with the potential to transform cancer therapy. Artios are developing breakthrough cancer treatments that target DDR pathways to selectively kill cancer cells either as mono-therapies or in combination with existing treatments.