Simon Gray Gregory


Professor in Neurology

My principal area of research involves elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying multi-factorial diseases. My lab is primarily interested identifying the complex genetic factors that give rise to multiple sclerosis (MS) and autism. We are using targeted approaches to identify differential methylation of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) in individuals with autism, and applying these data to an NICHD funded ACE award, SOARS-B, to assess long term use of oxytocin nasal spray to improve social reciprocity in 300 children with autism, and for which we are developing e/genetic and transcriptomic predictors of response and effects of long term drug exposure.

My MS laboratory at Duke University is using cell signaling and immune cell flow sorting to establish the role of IL7R signaling in the development of MS; we are exploring the use of high sensitivity assays to develop a trajectory of disease development in progressive MS; we are exploring the use of endogenous oxysterols to trigger remyelination of white matter injury in MS; and establishing the immune expression and receptor profile of MS patients who do or do not respond to drug treatment.

I am PI of the MURDOCK-MS collection, a cross sectional MS cohort of ~1000 MS patients that will provide the basis for genetic, genomic and metabolomic biomarker identification of MS disease development and progression. I am Director of the Duke Center for Research in Autoimmunity and MS within the Duke Department of Neurology, and also Director of the Molecular Genomics Core at the DMPI in which we are applying a panoply of single cell approaches to basic and translation research.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor in Neurology
  • Research Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
  • Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
  • Member of Duke Molecular Physiology Institute

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. Open University, Milton Keynes (United Kingdom), 2003
  • B.A.Sc. RMIT University (Australia), 1990

Research Interests

Multiple Sclerosis


Coronary Artery Disease

Prostate and Lung cancer

Epigenetics of human disease

Application of single cell technologies to basic and translational research

Precision medicine of neurological disease

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Nominated, Outstanding Postdoc Mentor. Duke University. 2015
  • Inducted into Volunteer Hall of Fame for contribution as Scientific Researcher. National Multiple Sclerosis Society. 2014
  • Breakthrough Research Award. North Carolina Health & Life Science. 2010
  • Axons in Action Award for Cutting Edge Research. National Multiple Sclerosis Society (Eastern North Carolina chapter). 2007

Courses Taught

  • BIOLOGY 728A: University Program in Genetics and Genomics Biological Solutions Module I
  • CMB 778A: University Program in Genetics and Genomics Biological Solutions Module I
  • CRP 243: Introduction to Medical Genetics
  • MGM 593: Research Independent Study
  • MGM 778A: University Program in Genetics and Genomics Biological Solutions Module I
  • UPGEN 778A: University Program in Genetics and Genomics Biological Solutions Module I
  • UPGEN 778D: University Program in Genetics and Genomics Biological Solutions Module IV

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Minear, MA; Crosslin, DR; Sutton, BS; Connelly, JJ; Nelson, SC; Gadson-Watson, S; Wang, T; Seo, D; Vance, JM; Sketch, MH; Haynes, C; Goldschmidt-Clermont, PJ; Shah, SH; Kraus, WE; Hauser, ER; Gregory, SG, Polymorphic variants in tenascin-C (TNC) are associated with atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease., Hum Genet, vol 129 no. 6 (2011), pp. 641-654 [10.1007/s00439-011-0959-z] [abs].
  • Evsyukova, I; Somarelli, JA; Gregory, SG; Garcia-Blanco, MA, Alternative splicing in multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases., Rna Biol, vol 7 no. 4 (2010), pp. 462-473 [10.4161/rna.7.4.12301] [abs].
  • Gregory, SG; Connelly, JJ; Towers, AJ; Johnson, J; Biscocho, D; Markunas, CA; Lintas, C; Abramson, RK; Wright, HH; Ellis, P; Langford, CF; Worley, G; Delong, GR; Murphy, SK; Cuccaro, ML; Persico, A; Pericak-Vance, MA, Genomic and epigenetic evidence for oxytocin receptor deficiency in autism., Bmc Medicine, vol 7 (2009) [10.1186/1741-7015-7-62] [abs].
  • Connelly, JJ; Shah, SH; Doss, JF; Gadson, S; Nelson, S; Crosslin, DR; Hale, AB; Lou, X; Wang, T; Haynes, C; Seo, D; Crossman, DC; Mooser, V; Granger, CB; Jones, CJH; Kraus, WE; Hauser, ER; Gregory, SG, Genetic and functional association of FAM5C with myocardial infarction., Bmc Medical Genetics, vol 9 (2008) [10.1186/1471-2350-9-33] [abs].
  • Gregory, SG; Schmidt, S; Seth, P; Oksenberg, JR; Hart, J; Prokop, A; Caillier, SJ; Ban, M; Goris, A; Barcellos, LF; Lincoln, R; McCauley, JL; Sawcer, SJ; Compston, DAS; Dubois, B; Hauser, SL; Garcia-Blanco, MA; Pericak-Vance, MA; Haines, JL; Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Group,, Interleukin 7 receptor alpha chain (IL7R) shows allelic and functional association with multiple sclerosis., Nature Genetics, vol 39 no. 9 (2007), pp. 1083-1091 [10.1038/ng2103] [abs].
  • Connelly, JJ; Wang, T; Cox, JE; Haynes, C; Wang, L; Shah, SH; Crosslin, DR; Hale, AB; Nelson, S; Crossman, DC; Granger, CB; Haines, JL; Jones, CJH; Vance, JM; Goldschmidt-Clermont, PJ; Kraus, WE; Hauser, ER; Gregory, SG, GATA2 is associated with familial early-onset coronary artery disease., Plos Genet, vol 2 no. 8 (2006) [10.1371/journal.pgen.0020139] [abs].
  • Schmidt, S; Pericak-Vance, MA; Sawcer, S; Barcellos, LF; Hart, J; Sims, J; Prokop, AM; van der Walt, J; DeLoa, C; Lincoln, RR; Oksenberg, JR; Compston, A; Hauser, SL; Haines, JL; Gregory, SG; Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Group,, Allelic association of sequence variants in the herpes virus entry mediator-B gene (PVRL2) with the severity of multiple sclerosis., Genes and Immunity, vol 7 no. 5 (2006), pp. 384-392 [10.1038/sj.gene.6364311] [abs].
  • Gregory, SG; Barlow, KF; McLay, KE; Kaul, R; Swarbreck, D; Dunham, A; Scott, CE; Howe, KL; Woodfine, K; Spencer, CCA; Jones, MC; Gillson, C; Searle, S; Zhou, Y; Kokocinski, F; McDonald, L; Evans, R; Phillips, K; Atkinson, A; Cooper, R; Jones, C; Hall, RE; Andrews, TD; Lloyd, C; Ainscough, R; Almeida, JP; Ambrose, KD; Anderson, F; Andrew, RW; Ashwell, RIS; Aubin, K; Babbage, AK; Bagguley, CL; Bailey, J; Beasley, H; Bethel, G; Bird, CP; Bray-Allen, S; Brown, JY; Brown, AJ; Buckley, D; Burton, J; Bye, J; Carder, C; Chapman, JC; Clark, SY; Clarke, G; Clee, C; Cobley, V; Collier, RE; Corby, N; Coville, GJ; Davies, J; Deadman, R; Dunn, M; Earthrowl, M; Ellington, AG; Errington, H; Frankish, A; Frankland, J; French, L; Garner, P; Garnett, J; Gay, L; Ghori, MRJ; Gibson, R; Gilby, LM; Gillett, W; Glithero, RJ; Grafham, DV; Griffiths, C; Griffiths-Jones, S; Grocock, R; Hammond, S; Harrison, ESI; Hart, E; Haugen, E; Heath, PD; Holmes, S; Holt, K; Howden, PJ; Hunt, AR; Hunt, SE; Hunter, G; Isherwood, J; James, R; Johnson, C; Johnson, D; Joy, A; Kay, M; Kershaw, JK; Kibukawa, M; Kimberley, AM; King, A; Knights, AJ; Lad, H; Laird, G; Lawlor, S; Leongamornlert, DA; Lloyd, DM; Loveland, J; Lovell, J; Lush, MJ; Lyne, R; Martin, S; Mashreghi-Mohammadi, M; Matthews, L; Matthews, NSW; McLaren, S; Milne, S; Mistry, S; Moore, MJF; Nickerson, T; O'Dell, CN; Oliver, K; Palmeiri, A; Palmer, SA; Parker, A; Patel, D; Pearce, AV; Peck, AI; Pelan, S; Phelps, K; Phillimore, BJ; Plumb, R; Rajan, J; Raymond, C; Rouse, G; Saenphimmachak, C; Sehra, HK; Sheridan, E; Shownkeen, R; Sims, S; Skuce, CD; Smith, M; Steward, C; Subramanian, S; Sycamore, N; Tracey, A; Tromans, A; Van Helmond, Z; Wall, M; Wallis, JM; White, S; Whitehead, SL; Wilkinson, JE; Willey, DL; Williams, H; Wilming, L; Wray, PW; Wu, Z; Coulson, A; Vaudin, M; Sulston, JE; Durbin, R; Hubbard, T; Wooster, R; Dunham, I; Carter, NP; McVean, G; Ross, MT; Harrow, J; Olson, MV; Beck, S; Rogers, J; Bentley, DR; Banerjee, R; Bryant, SP; Burford, DC; Burrill, WDH; Clegg, SM; Dhami, P; Dovey, O; Faulkner, LM; Gribble, SM; Langford, CF; Pandian, RD; Porter, KM; Prigmore, E, The DNA sequence and biological annotation of human chromosome 1., Nature, vol 441 no. 7091 (2006), pp. 315-321 [10.1038/nature04727] [abs].
  • Gregory, SG; Sekhon, M; Schein, J; Zhao, S; Osoegawa, K; Scott, CE; Evans, RS; Burridge, PW; Cox, TV; Fox, CA; Hutton, RD; Mullenger, IR; Phillips, KJ; Smith, J; Stalker, J; Threadgold, GJ; Birney, E; Wylie, K; Chinwalla, A; Wallis, J; Hillier, L; Carter, J; Gaige, T; Jaeger, S; Kremitzki, C; Layman, D; Maas, J; McGrane, R; Mead, K; Walker, R; Jones, S; Smith, M; Asano, J; Bosdet, I; Chan, S; Chittaranjan, S; Chiu, R; Fjell, C; Fuhrmann, D; Girn, N; Gray, C; Guin, R; Hsiao, L; Krzywinski, M; Kutsche, R; Lee, SS; Mathewson, C; McLeavy, C; Messervier, S; Ness, S; Pandoh, P; Prabhu, A-L; Saeedi, P; Smailus, D; Spence, L; Stott, J; Taylor, S; Terpstra, W; Tsai, M; Vardy, J; Wye, N; Yang, G; Shatsman, S; Ayodeji, B; Geer, K; Tsegaye, G; Shvartsbeyn, A; Gebregeorgis, E; Krol, M; Russell, D; Overton, L; Malek, JA; Holmes, M; Heaney, M; Shetty, J; Feldblyum, T; Nierman, WC; Catanese, JJ; Hubbard, T; Waterston, RH; Rogers, J; de Jong, PJ; Fraser, CM; Marra, M; McPherson, JD; Bentley, DR, A physical map of the mouse genome., Nature, vol 418 no. 6899 (2002), pp. 743-750 [10.1038/nature00957] [abs].