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Tufts University School of Medicine

Simon WM John

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
Programs: Genetics
Laboratory: NRB 2065

Simon WM John

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
Programs: Genetics
Laboratory: NRB 2065

Phone 207-288-6496
Lab phone: 207-288-6476
Office: NRB 2120
Campus: JAX - Bar Harbor, Maine

Education

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

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.