Director and Professor, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State UniversityBiography
Jonathan Jones is a native of Wales and has lived in the US since 1981. He received his undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Cambridge, England, and a PhD from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He undertook post-doctoral research at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Northwestern University in Chicago. He joined the faculty at Northwestern in 1986 and achieved the rank of full professor in 1999. In 2013, Dr. Jones accepted the position of Director of the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. In Pullman Dr. Jones directs a research group studying the molecular basis of communication between cells and their environment and how this communication regulates homeostasis and repair of tissues. A particular focus of the group is on the interaction between epithelial cells and the laminin elements of the extracellular matrix. Since the 1980s the lab has been investigating the structure and function of the components of a matrix attachment device called the hemidesmosome found in skin and certain other epithelial tissue types. Current projects in the lab include investigating how laminin receptors of the hemidesmosome transduce signals both into and out of cells, how laminin matrices are assembled and understanding how the dynamics of hemidesmosome proteins determine directed migration in moving skin cells. These analyses involve modern cell and molecular techniques, in vitro and in vivo studies as well as high resolution light microscopical evaluation of fixed and live cells and tissues. Dr. Jones has authored more than 110 primary research papers and a number of highly cited reviews on cell junctions and laminins. Studies in the Jones lab have been funded by various funding agencies including the ACS, the AHA, the DOD and several institutes of the NIH.