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Simon Fisher

Research Scientist, Center for Neuroscience
Simon Fisher

Simon Fisher, Ph.D., is a research scientist in the Center for Neuroscience in SRI Biosciences. His research focuses on identifying electrophysiological biomarkers to further understand the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease. His main interest is in Huntington’s disease, a debilitating neurological disorder characterized by motor, cognitive and psychiatric deficits, for which there is currently no effective treatment.

His recent work has led to the discovery of an electroencephalogram biomarker in a preclinical model of Huntington’s disease that could indicate the presence of disease before the onset of major symptoms. Further research on such biomarkers might one day permit the tracking of disease progression in clinical trials and facilitate drug development in this area. Fisher’s research also investigates the dysregulation of sleep and circadian behavior in Huntington’s disease, with evidence indicating that disruption of these systems may contribute towards disease progression.

Prior to joining SRI, Fisher worked at the University of Oxford, as a ‘Knoop’ postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Russell Foster. There, he investigated the effects of the light environment and retinal photoreceptors on the regulation of sleep/wake behavior and the circadian clock. His research identified a major role not previously appreciated for ultraviolet-sensitive cones of the eye in modulating sleep and circadian rhythms in rodents. He also developed a novel high-throughput approach to detect sleep abnormalities in models of ocular disease.

Fisher received a master of pharmacology degree from the University of Bath, UK, which included a one-year research placement at Roche. He gained his Ph.D. in neuroendocrinology from King’s College London.

Selected Publications

Fisher SP, Wurts-Black S, Schwartz MD, Wilk, AJ, , Chen T, Liu H, Lincoln WU, Kilduff TS, Morairty SR. Longitudinal analysis of the electroencephalogram and sleep phenotype in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington’s disease (2013) Brain 136 (7): 2159-2172.

Fisher SP, Foster RG, Peirson SN. The circadian control of sleep (2013). Book chapter in ‘Circadian Clocks’ Handb Exp Pharmacol. 217; 157-183.

Wurts-Black S, Morairty SR, Fisher SP, Chen T, Warrier DR, Kilduff TS. Almorexant promotes sleep and exacerbates cataplexy in a murine model of narcolepsy (2013) Sleep. 36(3):325-36.

Fisher SP*, van Oosterhout F*, van Diepen HC, Watson TS, Houben T, VanderLeest HT, Thompson S, Peirson SN, Foster RG, Meijer JH. Ultraviolet light provides a major input to non-image-forming light detection in mice. (2012) Curr Biol. 22 (15) 1397-402.

Fisher SP, Godinho SI, Pothecary CA, Hankins MW, Foster RG, Peirson SN. Rapid assessment of sleep-wake behavior in mice. (2012) J Biol Rhythms (1) 48

Oliver PL, Sobczyk MV, Maywood ES, Edwards B, Lee S, Livieratos A, Oster H, Butler R, Godinho SI, Wulff K, Peirson SN, Fisher SP, Chesham JE, Smith JW, Hastings MH, Davies KE, Foster RG. Disrupted circadian rhythms in a mouse model of schizophrenia (2012) Curr Biol. 22(4) 314-9.

*authors contributed equally