Simon Cook’s group studies protein kinase signalling pathways, in particular the MAPKs, DYRKs and the mTOR pathway. Simon is interested in how these pathways are regulated and how they control cell fates such as cell survival or apoptosis, cell division or cell cycle arrest, differentiation or terminal senescence. He has published over 100 papers that have received more than 10,000 citations.
Simon became interested in Signal Transduction during his Biochemistry degree at Royal Holloway College, University of London. He did his PhD in Michael Wakelam’s laboratory at the University of Glasgow, studying signalling by Phospholipase-C and -D.
A chance meeting over a beer (several beers actually) at a conference led to his move in 1991 to Post-Doc with Frank McCormick at ONYX Pharmaceuticals in the San Francisco Bay Area where he studied the then emerging RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK1/2 pathway.
After his Post-Doc Simon stayed on at ONYX as a Staff Scientist, member of the RAS Group Steering Committee and Project Manager for the Inflammation Project. In 1997 he took a tenure track Group Leader post at the Babraham Institute.
From 2000-2006 he held a CRUK Senior Cancer Research Fellowship and is currently a Senior Group Leader in the Signalling Programme. He also coordinates Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation activities within the Institute. His hobbies include birdwatching, walking, reading, music, cinema and undermining the system from within.