Meet Research Grant Recipient: Scott Simon, MD

Scott Simon is the recipient of the Anne Ellington Powell Chair of Research for $35,000.

BAF: Please tell us your background, where you are from, schooling, etc.

SS: I am from Chicago, IL, and I completed my neurosurgery residency and endovascular neurosurgery fellowship at Vanderbilt University.  I spent the first three years of my career at VCU in Richmond, VA, and then moved to Hershey, PA, to work at the Penn State College of Medicine.  Currently, I am a Professor of Neurosurgery, Endovascular Neurosurgery Fellowship Director, Director of the Division of Cerebrovascular Surgery, and Medical Co-Director of the Penn State Health Stroke Program.

BAF: What led you to become involved with brain aneurysm research?

SS: I have been studying the effects of iron metabolism on ICH in both a mouse model and the clinical setting.  This, in combination with my clinical practice caring for subarachnoid hemorrhage patients, inspired me to expand my research focus to this patient population.

BAF: In the simplest terms, what is the purpose of your project?

SS: We want to look at the genes our SAH patients have and test our hypothesis that certain genes that control how our bodies handle excess iron, one of the toxic byproducts of the blood that is in the subarachnoid space after aneurysm rupture, have an impact on outcome.

BAF: In the simplest terms, what do you hope will change through your research findings?

SS: If we can successfully identify a set of genes that improve outcomes, we can explore ways to make every patient handle excess iron in the same way.

BAF: Why is the funding you are receiving through the Brain Aneurysm Foundation so important?

SS: We believe this funding will be the first step in delineating how genetic determinants of iron metabolism affect clinical outcomes and therefore open exciting new categories of potential treatment.

Pictured above is Dr. Simon’s research poster, “Impact of Genetic Variations in Iron Metabolism on Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Outcomes