Simon Laboratory

The Simon laboratory has a longstanding interest in limb and heart development and disease mechanisms resulting from problems that occur during these embryonic stages. In addition, the lab is studying regenerative repair of mature tissues during adulthood, concentrating on skeletal and cardiac muscle. In a recent publication, our research work revealed that a regeneration-specific matrix is embedding the cells at the site of tissue damage and instructing specific regenerative processes.

This research aims at the characterization of yet unknown gene and cell regulatory pathways that are critical in organ formation and disease. A deeper understanding of the respective gene and protein functions may result in the identification of new promising therapeutic targets for disease intervention and new opportunities for the enhancement of regenerative responses in humans; thus, it potentially will have great impact on clinical care.


Image: Transient distribution of the tenascin C-rich regeneration-specifc matrix in the myocardium of the regenerating newt heart. Tenascin C is deteced around myocardial muscle, contemporaneous with the appearance of proliferative activity at 21 days after the ventricular tip resection  (nuclei, DAPI = blue; cardiomyocytes, MF20 = red; transitional matrix, TNC = green; proliferating cells, EdU = white). High power confocal imaging demonstrated direct contact of TNC with MF20+ muscle and Edu+ nuclei. Cover page from Mercer et al., Developmental Biology Volume 383 (2), October 15, 2013

Image taken from Mercer et al, 2013

Laboratory Members

 Alexander Urban, BA
Research Associate


Erin Quick, BA
Research Associate


William Grubbe
Student Intern, Northwestern University

Lindsay Rawitscher
Student Intern, Northwestern University

Contact Information

Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute
225 East Chicago Avenue, Box 204
Chicago, Illinois 60611-2605

Phone: 773.755.6373