Staff Profile: Anton M. Simeonov

Anton Simeonov, Ph.D.
Anton M. Simeonov, Ph.D.

Scientific Director

Division of Preclinical Innovation

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

National Institutes of Health

Email Anton M. Simeonov


Anton Simeonov is the scientific director at NCATS. The author or inventor on more than 140 peer-reviewed scientific publications and patents, Simeonov has a truly diverse background, ranging from bioorganic chemistry and molecular biology to clinical diagnostic research and development. He received a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in chemistry from Concordia College. Simeonov then trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute under Richard Lerner, M.D., and Kim Janda, Ph.D.

Prior to joining NIH in November 2004, Simeonov was a senior scientist at Caliper Life Sciences, a leading developer of microfluidic technologies, where he was responsible for basic research on novel assay methodologies and development of microfluidic products for research and clinical diagnostics. Simeonov is a literature editor of Assay and Drug Development Technologies and a member of the editorial board of Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery and Drug Target Review.

Research Topics

Simeonov’s research interests include novel detection chemistries and techniques, assays and devices for diagnostics, assay miniaturization, and novel approaches to screening and therapeutics development. Presently, Simeonov and his group focus on development of assays to discover and characterize small molecule modulators of previously understudied molecular targets and pathways. The ultimate goal is to de-risk these novel targets through development of assay methodology and high-quality pharmacological tool compounds. Watch a video about NCATS laboratories to learn more.

To open up the field of epigenetic drug discovery, Simeonov and his group have developed new miniaturized assays for all major categories of proteins involved in signaling events coupled to histone posttranslational modifications (referred to as the histone code), including the histone demethylase and methyltransferase enzymes and the multiple protein-protein interactions involving reader domains. The methods served as starting points for more than a dozen in-house screening campaigns, results from which were published in several journals. These methodologies have been adopted by numerous labs throughout the world as well as by reagent companies to develop reagent kits.

Current projects include:

  • Epigenetic targets, specifically histone demethylases and acetyltransferases
  • DNA repair proteins
  • Imaging assays to discover novel antivirals
  • Metabolic enzymes as targets in oncology
  • Lipoxygenases and related lipid-modifying enzymes
  • Discovery of antibacterials by targeting the SOS response
  • Redesigning existing assays to minimize the interfering effect of library compounds
  • Novel approaches to demonstrating small molecules’ target engagement in the cell

Selected Publications

  1. Modelling the Tox21 10 K chemical profiles for in vivo toxicity prediction and mechanism characterization
  2. Disrupting malaria parasite AMA1-RON2 interaction with a small molecule prevents erythrocyte invasion
  3. A homogeneous, high-throughput assay for phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate 4-kinase with a novel, rapid substrate preparation
  4. Suppression of the FOXM1 transcriptional programme via novel small molecule inhibition
  5. Biochemical, cellular, and biophysical characterization of a potent inhibitor of mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase IDH1