Dr Simon C. Cork is an honorary lecturer at Imperial College London and a Teaching Fellow in Medical Education at King's College London, with a specialist interest in obesity, gut-brain axis, the vagus nerve, and the regulation of appetite.
His current research focuses on the role of the vagus nerve in gut-brain communication, particularly in relation to gut hormones and their impact on appetite. Dr Cork has developed novel tools to study the afferent vagus nerve, including intra-nodose ganglion viral injections in mice to selectively knock down individual receptors, which has significant benefits over traditional vagotomy approaches. He has also been involved in cross-disciplinary research with bioengineers to develop novel recording technologies for use in closed-loop neurostimulating devices (Cork et al, 2018, Lubba et al, 2018). A keen neuroanatomist, Dr Cork has also been involved in work to map receptor expression profiles and neural pathways involved in both energy homeostasis (Cork et al, 2015) and cardiovascular regulation (Cork et al, 2016, Watkins et al, 2009).
Dr Cork is a passionate educator, and has recently taken up the position of Teaching Fellow in Medical Education at King's College London. During his career, he has delivered numerous lectures, tutorials, workshops and problem based learning (PBL) courses to undergraduate bioscience and medical students, as well as taught and research postgraduate students. In 2017 he was nominated for the Student Academic Choice Awards for excellence in teaching and was awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2018.
Throughout his research career, Dr Cork has been awarded several prizes, including best poster presentation by the Physiological Society, and the Rising Star award by Durham University. Outside of academic research, he also sits on the Physiological Society Policy Committee, advising on the Society’s response to issues surrounding scientific policy, and the central AWERB committee at Imperial College. He has also appeared on various media platforms; including The Today Programme (BBC Radio 4), Jeremy Vine Show (BBC Radio 2), Sky News, The Guardian and The Telegraph, providing expert comments on news stories relating to obesity.
et al., 2017, Extracellular pH monitoring for use in closed-loop vagus nerve stimulation., Journal of Neural Engineering, Vol:15, ISSN:1741-2552
Cork SC, Chazot PL, Pyner S, 2016, Altered GABAA α5 subunit expression in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus of hypertensive and pregnant rats, Neuroscience Letters, Vol:620, ISSN:1872-7972, Pages:148-153
Trapp S, Cork SC, 2015, PPG neurons of the lower brain stem and their role in brain GLP-1 receptor activation, American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology, Vol:309, ISSN:0363-6119, Pages:R795-R804
et al., 2015, Distribution and characterisation of Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor expressing cells in the mouse brain., Molecular Metabolism, Vol:4, ISSN:2212-8778, Pages:718-731
et al., 2014, Optical control of insulin release using a photoswitchable sulfonylurea, Nature Communications, Vol:5, ISSN:2041-1723
et al., 2014, Identification and Characterization of GLP-1 Receptor-Expressing Cells Using a New Transgenic Mouse Model, Diabetes, Vol:63, ISSN:0012-1797, Pages:1224-1233
Watkins ND, Cork SC, Pyner S, 2009, An immunohistochemical investigation of the relationship between neuronal nitric oxide synthase, GABA and presympathetic paraventricular neurons in the hypothalamus., Neuroscience, Vol:159, Pages:1079-1088
et al., 2015, Role of Incretins in the Brain, Incretin Biology - A Practical Guide: Glp-1 and Gip Physiology, Editor(s): Rutter, Zac-Varghese, Imperial College Press, Pages:99-130, ISBN:9781783267361