Dr. Simmonds received his BSc from the University of Western Ontario in 1990 and a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Alberta in 1997. In 2002, he completed his post-doctoral training at Charles H Best Institute, at the University of Toronto. The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry welcomed Dr. Simmonds back as a faculty member in 2002 where he rose to the position of professor in the Department of Cell Biology. He has received several awards for his teaching and research, including the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry 2019 Mentoring award for Excellence in Mentoring Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellows, a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scholar and Senior Scholar awards. He has served as the president and board member of the Canadian Society for Molecular Bioscience, and was previously the vice-president of the Genetics Society of Canada. He is currently an associate editor of the journal Genome (Canada). Dr. Simmonds’ research focuses on understanding the fundamental causes of rare genetic diseases affecting early development using fruit flies as an animal model. In particular, his research group focuses on the role of genes required in the cells that develop into muscles and how peroxisomes metabolize fat molecules. He holds three patents for a novel method for the identification and purification of RNA-protein complexes.