Mark Simons, PhD, MSPH

Mark P Simons, PhD, MSPH, Commander, Navy

Name: Mark P Simons, PhD, MSPH, Commander, Navy

USU Department of Primary Appointment: 
Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics
Title: 
Deputy Program Director, Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Program
Faculty Rank: 
Assistant Professor
Location: 
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD

Research Interests:
clinical microbiology, antimicrobial resistance
emerging infections

Office Phone: 
(240) 694-2961

Education

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, London, U.K.
Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH), 2013-2016
Areas of concentration: epidemiology and statistics, global public health

Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA
Fellowship, Clinical Microbiology, 2009-2013
Diplomate (American Board of Medical Microbiology), 2012
Recertified: 2015, 2018

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Ph.D., Molecular Biology, 1999-2005
Areas of Concentration: Microbiology, Bacterial Pathogenesis, Innate Immunity
Dissertation: “Interactions of Neisseria gonorrhoeae with Human Polymorphonuclear Leukocytes”
Ph.D. mentors: Dr. Michael A. Apicella and Dr. William M. Nauseef

Loras College, Dubuque, IA
B.S., Biological Research, 1995-1999
Minor: Chemistry
Thesis: “Antibacterial Properties of Oregano and Thyme”
Mentor: Dr. Fred Schnee

Biography

CDR Simons received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in Molecular Biology with a focus on Microbiology studying Neisseria gonorrhoeae pathogenesis and host innate immune responses to infection. Afterwards, he completed 4 years of postdoctoral training focused on immunology, inflammation, and infectious diseases while researching the role of human neutrophils in the anti-tumor responses to Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) treatment for superficial bladder cancer. Following his postdoctoral training, he was commissioned in 2009 as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps as a Microbiologist and was assigned to the Naval Medical Center in San Diego in the Laboratory Department where he led the Microbiology Division from 2009-2013. During this time, he completed his clinical microbiology training and passed all requirements for certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM). LCDR Simons next served at the Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU)-6 in Peru fulfilling several roles as Laboratory Director, Head of Respiratory and Enteric Diseases, and as Department Head for Bacteriology. During his time in Peru, LCDR Simons completed a Master’s of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and led several epidemiology and clinical trials on travelers’ diarrhea, antibiotic resistance, respiratory diseases, and other emerging infections, as well as he oversaw preclinical studies testing the efficacy of vaccines for enteric diseases in non-human primates. Following NAMRU-6, LCDR Simons was assigned to the NMRC as Department Head of Wound Infections and Director of the NIDDL, focused on development of novel antimicrobial therapeutics for multi-drug resistant bacterial wound infections and clinical diagnosis of emerging infectious diseases among DoD beneficiaries. He is Principal Investigator of several studies including two Congressionally Directed Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program Focused Program Award grants for development and evaluation of fixed and modularized bacteriophage products for treatment of antibiotic resistant infections and another study investigating the dynamics of gut microbiota-pathogen interactions and acquisition of antibiotic resistance during travel to high infectious burden regions. As Capability Area Manager for MIDRP, CDR Simons leads the Science and Technology (S&T) portfolio and research partners to develop, optimize, and evaluate the safety and efficacy of novel therapeutics and prophylactic agents to counter the treat of antibiotic-resistant infections in combat associated traumatic wounds, early diagnosis of infection, and prevention of sepsis in prolonged field care settings. As a member of the DHA Integrated Product Team (IPT) for Bacteriophage Therapy development, CDR Simons serves as the Technical and Scientific Lead and was a key contributor to the requirements development and technical evaluation leading to funding of two phase II clinical trials for bacteriophage therapy. CDR Simons' research interests include countering antimicrobial resistance, host immune responses to infectious diseases, and emerging infections. He has authored or co-authored 33 scientific papers and a book chapter, has served as a reviewer for several journals and scientific review committees, has served on Scientific Review Boards and Institutional Review Boards (IRB) at different institutions, and he continues to serve on the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Scientific Program Committee for Bacterial and Enteric Diseases.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

  • Deputy Program Director, Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Program (IDCRP), 2020-present
  • Laboratory Medical Director, Naval Infectious Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory (NIDDL), Naval Medical Research Center, 2016-present
  • Capability Area Manager, Wound Infections Military Infectious Diseases Research Program, 2018-present
  • Head, Wound Infections Department, Naval Medical Research Center, 2016-2020
  • Head, Bacteriology Department, Naval Medical Research Unit Six (NAMRU-6) Peru, 2014-2016
  • Head, Respiratory and Enteric Diseases, Virology Department Naval Medical Research Unit Six (NAMRU-6) Peru, 2013-2014
  • Division Head Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Diagnostics, Naval Medical Center San Diego, 2009-2013

Bibliography