Candidate for Council – 2021 ICIS Leadership Election
Simon A. Jones, PhD
Professor of Inflammation Biology, Division of Infection & Immunity
University of Cardiff, Cardiff, UK
Simon Jones has an international reputation in the field of cytokine biology and has been member of the International Cytokine Society and International Cytokine and Interferon Society since 1997. His research examines how cytokine signals shape inflammation, promote disease heterogeneity and affect treatment outcomes. With over 130 scientific publications, his fundamental discovery research links to investigations in clinical medicine and showcases achievements relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of chronic disease.
In his PhD (Bristol University; 1994), he identified superoxide-generating systems in stromal cells, informing the classification of the NOX enzymes. As a Swiss Foundation Fellow (Theodore Kocher Institüt, Bern; 1994-1996), his research of chemokine biology distinguished the signalling properties of the human IL-8 receptors (CXCR1, CXCR2) and he contributed to the functional cloning of CXCR3. As an American Heart Association Fellow (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA; 1996-1998), he began a long-term interest in the biology of IL-6 cytokines in chronic disease. In 1999, Simon moved to Cardiff University where he is a member of the Systems Immunity Research Institute in The School of Medicine.
As Professor of Inflammation Biology (since 2008), he was amongst the first to identify the biological significance of the soluble interleukin-6 receptor in inflammation– documenting the first physiological regulator of this system and describing the relevance of this pathway in autoimmunity. These discoveries contributed to the development of inhibitors that target interleukin-6 and help to explain the mode-of-action of other biological drugs routinely used in clinical practice. In 2004, he was awarded with The Bolzmann Award by the International Cytokine Society and the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research (Awarded jointly with Professor Stefan Rose-John, Christian Albrecht Universität zu Kiel, Germany).
Simon is committed to the mentoring of early-stage researchers, and several of his former postdoctoral fellows hold tenured appointments in Bangor, Bristol, Dublin, and Zurich (1x Professor, 1x Senior Lecturer, 2x Lecturer, and 1x Assistant Professor; Privatdozent). Others have secured independent fellowships (totalling 4). All of his PhD students remain in academic research and work in various laboratories across the UK, Europe, or America. His research leadership is illustrated by his appointment to Dean of Research for the School of Medicine at Cardiff (2017-2021) and wider contributions to the scientific community. These include membership of advisory panels linked to the pharmaceutical sector, national and international grant-awarding committees (e.g., UKRI Medical Research Council; Versus Arthritis; HRB Ireland), editorial boards of scientific journals (e.g., Journal of Biological Chemistry), and educational programmes for healthcare professionals including Program Chair of Cytokines 2021 Virtual: 9th Annual Meeting of the International Cytokine & Interferon Society. In recognition of his scientific achievements, he was elected Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (2019) and Member of the Academia Europaea (2021).