About Simon

Interests and Skills

I am an inorganic/physical chemist whose career has focused on the function of metals in biology as well as in catalysis and materials science.  I have studied these using a range of physical techniques like spectroscopy, electrochemistry and kinetics. I am a leading expert in the application of infrared (IR) spectroscopy to biological systems and I am an experienced EPR and synchrotron X-ray (EXAFS, Soft X-ray and XMCD) spectroscopist with over half my publications involving these techniques.  Much of my work has involved the development of novel instrumentation for this work as well as software tools for instrument control and the analysis of complex data.

My interest and enjoyment in working in biological chemistry stems not only from its relevance (it’s about life!) or its huge potential applications (in biotechnology, agriculture, bioinspired industrial catalysis, novel materials and so forth).  It's also because these problems are often technically challenging as experimental materials are often impure, severely limited in quantity and dilute in the metal of interest.  The field has responded by developing a diverse range of sensitive physical techniques, and I very much enjoy working with and developing these as they provide their own challenges.  I also like the interdisciplinary nature of the subject as it draws on the all the main branches of physical science (chemistry, physics, biology) as well as aspects of engineering, making a scientifically diverse and exciting working environment.

These web pages summarize my main research themes and experience:

•   Research (academic)
•   Instrument and Software Development



Simon J. George  Ph.D.  B.Sc

Career Summary

Employment and Appointments

2023 - Present  Research Scientist, Carl Sagan Center, The SETI Institute, Mountain View CA

2015 - Present  Consultant and Owner, Simon Scientific, Berkeley CA

2010 - 2014       Full Project Scientist: Department of Chemistry, University of California, Davis, CA

2002 - 2010       Scientist: Physical Biosciences / Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley CA

1999 - 2006       Honorary Lecturer (Honorary Faculty): University of East Anglia, Norwich UK

1998 - 2003       Senior Scientist: Department of Biological Chemistry, John Innes Centre, Norwich UK

1994 - 1998       Scientist: Nitrogen Fixation Laboratory, John Innes Centre, Norwich UK

1993 - 1998       Consultant: Structural Molecular Biology, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, Menlo Park CA

1991 - 1994       Assistant Researcher: Department of Applied Science, University of California, Davis CA

1990 - 1991       Scientist: National Synchrotron Light Source, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton NY

1988 - 1991       Staff Chemist: School of Chemical Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

1980 - 1982       3 x 12-Week Summer Appointments
  Researcher, Propellants Explosives and Rocket Motor Establishment, Waltham Abbey, U.K.


1986 - 1988       SERC Post-Doctoral Fellow: School of Chemical Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich UK

1983 - 1986       Ph.D. in Chemistry: School of Chemical Sciences University of East Anglia, Norwich UK
  Thesis: "Magnetic Circular Dichroism of Iron-Sulphur Proteins"
  Supervisor: Professor Andrew J. Thomson OBE FRS

1979 - 1983       B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry: University of London King's College, London UK

•   Full Curriculum Vitae 

•   Printable CV (PDF)                  •   NIH Biosketch (PDF)


Publication Statistics

   Total publications (January 02, 2024):    100

   Citations (Google Scholar): 5712

   h‐index (Google Scholar):           48

Selected Publications

96.   Oxygen K-edge X-ray absorption spectra of liquids with minimization of window contamination
Linda I. Vogt, Julien J. H. Cotelesage, Charles J. Titus, Samin Sharifi, Albert E. Butterfield, Peter Hillman, Ingrid J. Pickering, Graham N. George, Simon J. George,
J. Synchr. Rad. 2021, 28, 1845-1849https://doi.org/10.1107/S1600577521009942

89.   The HydG enzyme generates an Fe(CO)2(CN) synthon in the biosynthesis of the FeFe hydrogenase H‑Cluster
Jon M. Kuchenreuther, William K. Myers, Daniel L. M. Suess, Troy A. Stich, Vladimir Pelmenschikov, Stacey A. Shiigi, Stephen P. Cramer, James R. Swartz, R. David Britt, Simon J. George
Science 2014, 343, 424-427.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1246572

86.   A Radical Intermediate in Tyrosine Scission to the CO and CN Ligands of FeFe] Hydrogenase
Jon M. Kuchenreuther, William K. Myers, Troy A. Stich, Simon J. George, Yaser NejatyJahromy, James R. Swartz, R. David Britt
Science 2013, 342, 472-475.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1241859

78.   Steric Control of the Hi-CO MoFe Nitrogenase Complex Revealed by Stopped-Flow Infra-red Spectroscopy
Zhi-Yong Yang, Lance C. Seefeldt, Dennis R. Dean, Stephen P. Cramer, Simon J. George
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2011, 50, 272-275.  https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201005145  

76.   Synchrotron X-ray analyses indicate phosphate-bound gadolinium in nephrogenic systemic fibrosis
Simon J. George, Samuel M. Webb; Jerrold L. Abraham, Stephen P. Cramer
Brit. J. Dermatol., 2010, 163, 1077-1081.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.09918.x

59.   EPR and infrared spectroscopic evidence that a kinetically competent paramagnetic intermediate is formed when acetyl-coenzyme A synthase reacts with CO
Simon J. George, Javier Seravalli, Stephen W. Ragsdale
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 13500-13501.  https://doi.org/10.1021/ja0528329

37.   Time-resolved binding of carbon monoxide to nitrogenase monitored by stopped-flow infrared spectroscopy
Simon J. George, Gillian A. Ashby, Christopher W. Wharton, Roger N. F. Thorneley
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1997, 119, 6450-6451.  https://doi.org/10.1021/ja971088s

26.   Copper L-edge spectral studies - a direct experimental probe of the ground-state covalency in the blue copper site in plastocyanin
Simon J. George, Michael D. Lowery, Edward I. Solomon, Stephen P. Cramer
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1993, 115, 2968-2969.  https://doi.org/10.1021/ja00060a052

24.   Variable temperature magnetic circular dichroism
Andrew J. Thomson, Myles R. Cheesman, Simon J. George
Meth. Enzymol, 1993, 225, 199-232.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0076-6879(93)26011-W

18.   Identification and characterization of zinc binding sites in protein kinase C
Stevan R. Hubbard, W. Robert Bishop, Paul Kirschmeier, Simon J. George, Stephen P. Cramer, Wayne A. Hendrickson
Science 1991, 254, 1776-1779.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1763327

9.      Electrochemical and spectroscopic characterization of the conversion of the 7Fe into the 8Fe Form of ferredoxin III from Desulfovibrio africanus - identification of a 4Fe-4S] cluster with one non-cysteine ligand
S. J. George, F. A. Armstrong, E. C. Hatchikian, A. J. Thomson
Biochem. J. 1989, 264, 275-284.  https://doi.org/10.1042/bj2640275

Full Publication List

Science by Simon Scientific

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Latest Update: 26 January 2024 

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