Simon E. Fisher is director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and Professor of Language and Genetics at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Simon obtained his Natural Sciences degree at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, UK followed by a DPhil at the Genetics Unit of the Biochemistry Department, Oxford University. For his postdoctoral research he joined Prof. Anthony Monaco's group at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics (WTCHG) in Oxford, and worked on identifying genetic factors that contribute to developmental disorders such as dyslexia and speech and language impairments. During this time he and his colleagues discovered FOXP2, the first case of a gene mutated in speech and language impairment. In 2002, Simon was awarded with a Royal Society Research Fellowship and became head of his own laboratory at the WTCHG, where he used state-of-the-art methods to uncover how language-related genes influence the brain. From 2007-10 Simon was also the Isobel Laing Fellow in Biomedical Sciences at Oriel College, Oxford, where he taught Biochemistry and Medical Genetics. In 2010 he was appointed director of a new department specifically devoted to "Language and Genetics" at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen.
Simon is author of over 200 journal articles, including high impact publications in Nature, Nature Genetics, Science, New England Journal of Medicine, Cell, Current Biology, American Journal of Human Genetics, Nature Reviews Genetics, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Annual Review of Neuroscience, Trends in Genetics and Trends in Cognitive Sciences. According to Google Scholar, his work has received over 28,000 citations, and he has an h-index of 80. Simon is frequently invited to talk at leading international conferences across a diverse range of fields, and has also spoken to school, student and public audiences. His research has a strong interdisciplinary remit, integrating data from genetics and genomics, psychology, neuroscience, developmental biology and evolutionary anthropology. Simon is an elected fellow of the Society of Biology, and his awards include the Francis Crick Prize Lecture in 2008 [webcast here], and the inaugural Eric Kandel Young Neuroscientists Prize in 2009.
Simon E. Fisher's CV can be downloaded here.
Follow Simon on Twitter @ProfSimonFisher
Professor of Language and Genetics, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition & Behaviour, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. [link]
Co-affiliated member of the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Simon Fisher, Media summary 2012-2015
September 2021: Speaker, International Symposium, The Molecular Anthropology of Language: Results and Prospects. National Center of Competence in Research Evolving Language, Switzerland.
November 2021: Speaker, Virtual Seminar, Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan, USA.
November 2021: Speaker, lectures series, Neuroscience Center Göttingen, Germany
May 2021: Speaker, Anthropology of Synaesthesia panel, Uncommon Senses III, (virtual event) Centre for Sensory Studies of Concordia University, Canada.
January 2021: Speaker, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, U.K.
December 2020: Speaker, virtual Seminar of the School of Medical Genetics, Bologna, Italy.
November 2020: Speaker, Radboud Research Round, Neurodevelopmental disorders, Nijmegen.
September 2020: Speaker, Max Planck School of Cognition, Second Cognition Academy, (virtual event) Berlin, Germany.
June 2020: Leader, Discussion session on Language Disorders, IMPRS Conference 2020, (virtual event) Nijmegen.
October 2019: Speaker, Symposium of the Max Planck Society Biomedical Section, Berlin, Germany.
September 2019: Speaker, Max Planck School of Cognition Opening Ceremony & First Cognition Academ, Berlin, Germany.
June 2019: Chair/Moderator/Organiser, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Colloquium, Amsterdam.
May 2019: Speaker, Symposium Celebrating the Career of Dr. Dennis Drayna, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Bethesda, MD, U.S.A.
April 2019: Speaker, Language Literacy and Learning Conference, Perth, Australia.
February 2019: Speaker, University of Cologne Spring School 2019. Language and Music in Cognition: Integrated Approaches to Cognitive Systems. Cologne, Germany.
October 2018: Norman Geschwind Memorial Lecture, International Dyslexia Association Annual Conference. Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.A.
October 2018: Moderator/Organiser, Royal Society Symposium, Bridging Senses: New Developments in Synaesthesia. London, U.K.
July/August 2018: Course leader, Genetics and Neurobiology of Language. Banbury Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, U.S.A.
July 2018: Speaker, Symposium, Neurobiology of Speech & Language Disorders: Genetic and MRI Advances. UCL Centre for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience & Speech and Language Centre of Research Excellence. London, U.K.
May 2018: Speaker, The Dyslexia Foundation Extraordinary Brain Symposium XVI, All about Language: Science, Theory, and Practice. St Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia.
April 2018: Speaker, British Dyslexia Association International Conference, Evidence to Practice and Back Again. Telford, U.K.
February 2018: Discussant, Nijmegen Lectures by Elena Lieven, Understanding how children learn language: What progress has been made since 1965? Nijmegen.
January 2018: Chaucer Club Lecture, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge, U.K.
December 2017: Speaker, Are we musical animals? Developing a Roadmap for Using Intrinsically Motivating Games for Identifying the Musicality Phenotype. Workshop at the international conference ‘SMART Animals’. University of Amsterdam.
November 2017: Speaker, 62nd STuTS, (Studentische Tagung Sprachwissenschaft). Nijmegen.
October 2017: Speaker, Symposium, Imaging genetics: From Neanderthals to Modern Human's Psychiatric Disorders. 25th World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics (WCPG). Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.
October 2017: Session Chair/Moderator, Symposium, Evolutionary genomics of brain development. 67th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.
September 2017: Public Lecture, New Scientist Live Festival. London, U.K.
June 2017: Speaker, International Neuropsychological Symposium. Sitia, Crete, Greece.
June 2017: Speaker, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Procedural Learning Summer School, Understanding the impact of FOXP2 gene disruptions in humans,
mice and songbirds. Amsterdam.
May 2017: Speaker, Symposium, Extraordinary Variations of the Human Mind: Implications for Anthropogeny. University of California, San Diego/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA). San Diego, California.
March 2017: Lecture, University of British Colombia Infant Studies Center, Dept. of Psychology. Vancouver, Canada.
March 2017: Lecture, British Colombia Children's hospital. Vancouver, Canada.
March 2017: Speaker, Symposium, Genetics and cognitive neuroscience: What does the future hold? Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting. San Francisco, U.S.A.
February 2017: Colloquium Speaker, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics. Leiden, Netherlands.
December 2016: Lecture, course on Child, Language and Hearing for health care practitioners, Language and Hearing Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam Free University and Medical Center, the Netherlands.
November 2016: Speaker, Cambridge Language Sciences Annual Symposium. University of Cambridge, U.K.
July/August 2016: Course leader, Genetics and Neurobiology of Language. Banbury Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, U.S.A.
April 2016: Speaker, International Symposium on Dyslexia and Dyscalculia, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung & Klinik und Poliklinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie. München, Germany.
January 2016: Lecture, FENS-Hertie Winter School on Neurobiology of Language and Communication. Obergurgl, Austria.
November 2015: Vienna Biocenter PhD Symposium, Vienna, Austria.
October 2015: CDKL5 Forum / Loulou Foundation, Wellcome Trust Conference Centre, London, UK.
August 2015: Radboud University Summer School, Language Sciences, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
April 2015: Guest Lecture, Music Cognition MA Class, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
March 2015: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Symposium, Decoding the Neurobiology of Synaesthesia, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
March 2015: SMART Cognitive Science: the Amsterdam Conference - Workshop Evolution of Language: the co-evolution of biology and culture. Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
December 2014: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Colloquium, The biology of Language: Evolution, Brain, Development, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
November 2014: Interdisciplinary Center of Neuroscience, University of Heidelberg, Germany.
October 2014: Workshop on Brain, Evolution & Cognition, Hebrew University, Center for Brain Sciences, Jerusalem, Israel.
September 2014: Workshop, Understanding the nature of human language: new methods. Edinburgh, UK.
July/August 2014: Course leader, Genetics and Neurobiology of Language, Banbury Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, U.S.A.
July 2014: International Conference on Infant Studies (ICIS), Berlin, Germany.
April 2014: University of Connecticut 'Language Fest', Storrs, Connecticut, U.S.A.
April 2014: What Makes Us Musical Animals? Cognition, Biology and the Origins of Musicality, Lorentz Center Leiden, The Netherlands.
March 2014: Annual Brainweek, University of Maastricht, the Netherlands.
February 2014: Amsterdam Brain & Cognition Lecture, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
January 2014: Invited Speaker, Rome Science Festival, Rome, Italy.
October 2013: *Keynote Speaker*, International Symposium on Language, Brain, and Gene, organized by the State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Hong Kong and CapitalBio Corporation, Beijing, China. Hong Kong, China.
October 2013: Invited Lecture, National Key Laboratory, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China.
September 2013: Inaugural Lecture, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
July 2013: Wiring the Brain, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, USA.
April 2013: Cognitive Neuroscience Society 20th Anniversary Meeting, symposium on Building blocks for language, San Francisco, California, USA.
April 2013: Presentation to undergraduate students of linguistics. Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
March 2013: BrainGain, event jointly organised by Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and the Dutch National Initiative Brain and Cognition, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
February 2013: CASANA’s 2013 Childhood Apraxia of Speech Research Symposium, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
February 2013: American Association for the Advancement of Science, annual meeting; symposium on The biology and evolution of human language. Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
January 2013: Nederlandistiek in het niews. Symposium on discourse and language, Dutch Department, Faculty of Arts, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
December 2012: Colloquium speaker, MPI for Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.
December 2012: New Frontiers Symposium: Towards Personal Genomics. Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
November 2012: *Keynote speaker*, TaalStaal, International Congres. Royal Dutch Auris Group and Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
October 2012: *Presidential Special Lecturer*, 42nd annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, USA.
May 2012: Mini-Symposium: Psychology, Physiology, Genetics and Molecular Biology of Language. Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
April 2012: Distinguished Lecture in Life Science, Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA.
March 2012: The Human Capacity for Language: Nature Origins and Use. Public Symposium, Northeastern University, Boston, USA.
March 2012: FIRST Program Special Seminar, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Tokyo, Japan.
March 2012: *Plenary speaker* 9th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (Evolang IX), Kyoto, Japan.
March 2012: Invited Speaker, NET-symposium 2012 (Netwerk Eerste Taalverwerving), Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
December 2011: *Keynote speaker* Final Event of the Dutch Dyslexia Programme. Trippenhuis, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
December 2011: External Seminar. Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
November 2011: *Plenary speaker* 18th Benelux Congress of Zoology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands .
October 2011: Symposium on advances in the genetic research of neurodevelopmental disorders. Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
October 2011: *Speaker and session co-moderator* Invited session: Neurogenetic Pathways Underlying Speech and Language Disorders. 12th International Congress on Human Genetics. Montreal, Canada.
September 2011: Colloquium, MIT Colloquium Series on the Brain & Cognition, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA.
July 2011: *Plenary speaker* 12th Congress of the International Association for the Study of Child Language (IASCL). Montreal, Canada.
July 2011: *Café Scientifique* Talking primates: human language versus chimp communication. Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, London, UK.
June 2011: *Keynote speaker* 6th International Conference on Speech Motor Control. Groningen, the Netherlands.
February 2011: 24th Meeting of the British Neuropsychiatry Association. Institute of Child Health, London, UK.
January 2011: Seminar, Department of Neuroscience, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
October 2010: Symposium and Launch of the Oxford Centre for Developmental Science. Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
October 2010: Seminar, Developmental Psychopathology Network, Manchester University, Manchester, UK.
September 2010: European Neurodegenerative Diseases-2010. Oriel College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
July 2010: Human Genome Analysis: Genetic Analysis of Multifactorial Diseases. Wellcome Trust Advanced Course, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.
July 2010: *Keynote speaker* Research Symposium, CASANA National Conference on Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Pittsburgh, USA.
June 2010: *Keynote speaker* Child Language Seminar. Department of Language and Communication Science, City University, London, UK.
June 2010: Seminar, Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK.
June 2010: *Plenary speaker* Plenary session: Human Language - Lessons from FOXP2. European Human Genetics Conference 2010. Gothenburg, Sweden.
May 2010: *Public Lecture* University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany. (Part of Distinguished Lecture Series on Language and the Brain, co-ordinated by Prof. Angela Friederici).
May 2010: Linguistic Phenotypes: Towards a Biological Understanding of Language. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, USA.
March 2010: Seminar, Biological Sciences Department, Warwick University, UK.
February 2010: Integrating genetic and cultural evolutionary approaches to language. Centre for Ecology and Evolution Symposium. Queen Mary University of London, UK.
February 2010: Chaucer Club presentation, Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK.
February 2010: Cambridge University Biological Society, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK.
October 2009: *Keynote speaker* 1st Neurobiology of Language Conference. Chicago, USA.
September 2009: Evolution of Brain, Behaviour & Intelligence. Wellcome Trust Scientific Conference. Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.
August 2009: Summer workshop on Biology of Social Cognition. Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.
July 2009: RIKEN Brain Science Institute 2009 Summer Program: Interacting Brains. Tokyo, Japan.
July 2009: Biochemical Society focus meeting: Gene expression in neuronal disease. Cardiff University, Wales UK.
July 2009: *Public Lecture and questions/answer session* Talking Point. The Royal Institution, London, UK.
June 2009: Neuro-archeology: pre-symptomatic architecture and signatures of neurological disorders. 7th INMED meeting. La Ciotat, Provence, France.
June 2009: 100th Anniversary of Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
May 2009: Language, Cognition and Motor Control: David H. and Alice V. Morris Symposia on Language and Communication. Stony Brook University, New York, USA.
May 2009: Almroth Wright Lecture 2009. Imperial College Faculty of Medicine. London, UK.
March 2009: Genes and Diversity. Study Day for A-Level students. Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford, UK.
March 2009: Course on speech apraxia. Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
February 2009: Seminar, Institute of Genetics, Leicester University, Leicester, UK.
February 2009: Dahlem colloquium talk. Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany.
January 2009: Seminar, Genetics Department, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK.
January 2009: 21st Century Evolution. Darwin Enrichment Day For Teachers. Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford, UK.
December 2008: *3-day Lecture Series* Nijmegen Lectures 2008. The Nature and Origins of Language: A Genetic Perspective. Co-presented with Prof. Gary Marcus. Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
December 2008: *Prize Lecture* Francis Crick Prize Lecture. Royal Society, London, UK. >more
November 2008: Journée Jean-Louis Signoret: Normal and abnormal brain/cognitive development. Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France.
October 2008: *Keynote speaker* 50th Anniversary of Department of Logopedics and Audiology. Lessius University College. Antwerp, Belgium.
October 2008: Exciting Biologies 2008: Biology of Cognition. Chantilly, France.
September 2008: Specific Language Impairment Consortium: retrospective and prospective. St John's College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
July 2008: Cold Spring Harbour Summer Workshop on Biology of Social Cognition. Banbury Centre, New York, USA.
May 2008: Seminar, Pasteur Institute, Paris. France.
February 2008: Gordon Research Conference on Genes and Behavior. Lucca, Italy.
January 2008: Seminar, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Utah, Utah, USA.
January 2008: Keystone Symposium: Forkhead Transcription Factor Networks in Development, Signaling and Disease. Midway, Utah, USA.
December 2007: Seminar, Weatherall Institute for Molecular Medicine, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
November 2007: International Symposium: Developmental Disturbances in the Nervous System, [Collaborative Research Center 665 of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft] Potsdam, Germany
November 2007: Galton Institute Centenary Conference: What makes us human? University College London, London, UK.
October/November 2007: *Distinguished Visitor* Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind at UCSD, San Diego, USA.
October 2007: Invited session: Human brain evolution: What makes us unique? 57th Annual Meeting of American Society of Human Genetics. San Diego, USA.
August 2007: *Presenter of Main Report* 27th World Congress of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics. Copenhagen, Denmark.
July 2007: MRC/Cold Spring Harbour Summer Workshop on Biology of Social Cognition. St. Anne’s College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
June 2007: Mouse Neurological & Behavioural Forum. St Catherine's College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
June 2007: *Keynote speaker* Linguistic theories and the biological foundations of human language: a dialogue. (3rd Conference of the Association of Latinoamerican Linguistics and Philology of Northwest Europe). Taylor Institution, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
May 2007: Brain development in children: a matter of connectivity? CHU Sainte-Justine & University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
May 2007: Integrating Imaging and Genetics in Cognitive Research. The Grand Hotel & KNAW Trippenhuis, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
April 2007: *Invited speaker in workshop and accompanying symposium* Birdsong, Speech and Language: Converging Mechanisms. Utrecht, the Netherlands.
March 2007: *Two presentations and interactive seminar* Genetics of Hearing and Communication Disorders Doctoral Course. Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
March 2007: *Session chair, and invited speaker in workshop and accompanying symposium* Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging of Development. British Council, Paris, France.
February 2007: Eton College Scientific Society, Eton, UK.
November 2006: *Keynote speaker* Symposium: Future Directions in Search of Genes that Influence Language. 31st Boston University Conference on Language Development. Boston, USA.
October 2006: Mini-symposium: Singing mice and songbirds: Animal models for FOXP2 function and dysfunction in human speech. 36th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Atlanta, USA.
September 2006: UK Research Councils Brain Sciences Workshop. Thame, Oxfordshire, UK.
August 2006: Symposium: Genetics of Autism. 16th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience. Banff, Canada.
June 2006: Symposium: Genes & Cognition Defects. 11th Human Genome Meeting. Helsinki, Finland.
May 2006: Symposium: Genetics of speech, reading, writing. 38th European Human Genetics Conference. Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
April 2006: Neurology for Neuroscientists XI. Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
March 2006: *Public event* Presenter & Discussant at an all-day event asking “What Makes us Human?” Oxford International Biomedical Centre and the Royal Institution, Oxford, UK.
February 2006: *Two separate invited talks in independent symposia* Symposium: In Search of Genes that Influence Language: Phenotypes and Molecules AND Symposium: Language Evolution: New Perspectives from Genetics, Neuroscience, and Human Infants; American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting. St. Louis, USA.
January 2006: Seminar, Cognitive Science seminar series, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK.
November 2005: Workshop on Brains, Genes and Behaviour. Lund, Sweden.
June 2005: ESF workshop on Phylogeny and Ontogeny of Human Communication. Ferrara, Italy.
October 2004: *Keynote speaker* 16th Annual Meeting of the European Academy of Childhood Disability. Edinburgh, UK.
June 2004: International Neuropsychological Symposium. Porto Heli, Greece.
January 2004: Symposium: Language, from evolution to modeling. International Graduate School for Neuroscience at the Ruhr University. Bochum, Germany.
November 2003: *Keynote speaker* Swammerdam Lecture at Annual Meeting of Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam & Rudolf Magnus Graduate School of Neuroscience. The Netherlands.
November 2003: Symposium: Transgenic Models of Complex Behavioral Phenotypes. 53rd Annual Meeting of American Society of Human Genetics. Los Angeles, USA.
September 2003: *Keynote speaker* The Relationship of Genes, Environments, and Developmental Language Disorders. Arizona, USA (co-sponsored by Merrill Advanced Studies Center & NICHD).
February 2003: Symposium: From gene to speech. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting. Denver, USA.
October 2002: Opening Workshop, Centre for Developmental Language Disorders and Cognitive Neuroscience. University College London, UK.
May 2002: 2nd Rudbeck Symposium on Molecular Medicine. Uppsala, Sweden.
December 2001: Fondation IPSEN - Neurosciences in the post-genomic era. Paris, France.
July 2001: *Plenary session speaker* 31st Annual Meeting of Behavior Genetics Association (BGA). Cambridge, UK.
July 2000: XXVII International Congress of Psychology. Stockholm, Sweden.
April 2000: First workshop on molecular basis of mental handicap. Chamonix, France.
July 1999: Workshop on genetics and cognitive development. Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, London, UK.
November 1998: HUGO genome workshop ‘Strategies for the analysis of complex diseases’. Groningen, the Netherlands.
May 1998: New strategies for studying the central nervous system. Paris, France.
March 1998: International conference on genetics of reading and spelling disability. Marburg, Germany.