Simon Fisher

Fischer, Simon
Name:
Prof. Simon Fisher 


Function:
Full Professor


Theme:



Profile

Simon E. Fisher is a geneticist studying the first molecular windows into the neural basis of human speech and language. He is director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and Professor of Language and Genetics at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Simon obtained his Natural Sciences degree at Cambridge University, followed by a DPhil in Genetics at Oxford University. For his postdoctoral research he joined Prof. Anthony Monaco's group at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics (WTCHG)  in Oxford, and worked on identifying genetic factors that contribute to developmental disorders such as dyslexia and speech and language impairments. During this time, he was co-discoverer of FOXP2, the first gene to be implicated in a human speech and language disorder. In 2002, Simon was awarded with a Royal Society Research Fellowship and became head of his own laboratory at the WTCHG, using state-of-the-art methods to uncover how language-related genes influence the brain. From 2007-10 Simon was also the Isobel Laing Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford, where he taught Biochemistry and Medical Genetics. In 2010 he was appointed director of a new department devoted to "Language and Genetics" at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen. The department aims to uncover the DNA variations which ultimately affect different facets of our communicative abilities, not only in children with language-related disorders but also in the general population. Simon's work attempts to bridge the gaps between genes, brains, speech and language, by integrating molecular findings with data from other levels of analysis, including cell biology, experimental psychology, neuroimaging and evolutionary anthropology.


National & International Personal Prizes & Awards

  • Elected fellow, Society of Biology
  • Elected member, International Neuropsychological Symposium
  • Francis Crick Prize Lecture, Royal Society 2008
  • Eric Kandel Young Neuroscientists Prize, Hertie Foundation 2009
  • Presidential Special Lecture, Society For Neuroscience 2012

Secondary functions

None


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