Jonathan W. Simons, M.D. 

Chief Science Officer and Medical Director; The Marcus Foundation

Jonathan W. Simons is an American physician-scientist, medical oncologist, and leader in prostate cancer research. Simons is the Chief Science Officer and Medical Director of the Marcus Foundation.  Simons’ laboratories at Johns Hopkins University and Emory University made original basic science contributions to understand the HIF-1 transcription factor in the molecular biology of cancer metastases and to defining the functions of immunomodulatory cytokines in prostate cancer bone metastases.  Simons translational research program and young investigators in Simons’s laboratory proved the possibility of breaking pre-existing T-cell and B-cell immune tolerance to metastatic prostate cancer by using GM-CSF gene transduced prostate cancer vaccines in proof of concept clinical trials.  

Dr. Simons is the Founding Director of Georgia’s first NCI designated cancer center, the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta.  At Emory University, Dr. Simons was also Chief of Hematology and Oncology, Distinguished Professor of Hematology and Oncology at the Emory University School of Medicine and Professor of Material Sciences at the Georgia Institutes of Technology Nanotechnology Center.  Prior to recruitment to start up the Cancer Institute at Emory University in 2000, Dr. Simons was Director of the Molecular Pharmacology Program and Genetic Therapy Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was a faculty member in Oncology and Urology in the Brady Urological Institute under Dr. Donald S. Coffey.   

Dr. Simons received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was a Rotary International Postgraduate Fellow in Humanities at the University of Kent, Canterbury, England, and a Nuffield Foundation Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge. Dr. Simons completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, then began his career in cancer research as a Clinical Fellow in Medical Oncology and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics under Dr. Bert Vogelstein both at The Johns Hopkins Oncology Center.  

Dr. Simons has served in numerous board and leadership roles for the American Cancer Society, the American Association of Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Urological Association, Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, National Cancer Institute, FasterCures, StandUP2Cancer. Melanoma Research Alliance, Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative and the Veterans Administration’s Precision Oncology Partnership for Prostate Cancer. 

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