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Dr Simon Yona
5 University Street
The Rayne Building
Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 2382
Dr Simon Yona profile picture
  • Honorary Lecturer
  • Experimental & Translational Medicine
  • Div of Medicine
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

Simon Yona was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He performed his PhD under the direction of Professor Rod Flower FRS and Professor Mauro Perretti at the William Harvey Research Institute, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital (University of London). After completing his PhD, he joined the laboratory of Professor Siamon Gordon FRS at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology (University of Oxford), studying adhesion-GPCRs in the context of macrophage and neutrophil signaling. In 2008, Simon received a FEBS Fellowship to work in the laboratory of Professor Steffen Jung at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His studies there focused on generating transgenic mice, in order to manipulate and fate map the mononuclear phagocyte system. To this end, he revealed the ontogeny and dynamics of circulating monocytes and resident macrophages under steady state. Furthermore, in collaboration with Professor Eli Keshet (Hebrew University), he demonstrated how Ly6Chi monocytes undergo multiple transcriptional, phenotypic and functional changes endowing them with enhanced proangiogenic capabilities at sites of angiogenesis where they act as transient accessory cells. He returned to the United Kingdom and joined the Division of Medicine at University College London (University of London). Work in his lab aims at understanding human mononuclear phagocyte biology, specifically, the developmental profile and distinct functions of monocytes and monocyte-derived cells in health and disease.

Research Summary

Mononuclear phagocytes are a group of white blood cells that play an important role in the body's immune response. The Mononuclear Phagocyte System consists of three types of cell: monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells (DC), each with distinct functions.

Previously, it was believed that tissue macrophages were derived from blood monocytes, made in our bone marrow. However, more recently studies including our own, have revealed that macrophages originate before birth, while monocytes are continuously produced in the adult. Currently, we have an incomplete understanding of how these cells operate in humans.

In the lab we study monocyte, DC and macrophage dynamics and function under steady state and during disease to gain insights into how these cells are regulated and regulate physiological and pathological processes. This will potentially enable the development of new treatments, based on a better understanding of how the body responds to inflammation.

Teaching Summary

Simon is the course director for the MSc in Clinical Drug Development. 

He lectures and conducts tutorials to undergraduate students on: innate immunity, pre-clinical experimental design and the pharmacology of inflammation. Examination of MPhil to PhD transfer and PhD/DPhil viva.

Academic Background
2005   Doctor of Philosophy University of London
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