Leanne Jones, PhD
Principal Investigator

E-mail: leannejones@ucla.edu

Dr. Jones received her BS degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. She did her undergraduate thesis research developing novel mutagenesis protocols for Sindbis virus under the guidance of Dr. Darcy Russell and in the process, developed a lifelong love of viruses and virology.

She then received her PhD degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University, where she performed her thesis work in the Department of Pathology with Dr. Karl Münger. Her work on DNA tumor viruses introduced her to cancer cell biology and founded her long-term research goals of characterizing the mechanisms that influence the cell fate decision between proliferation (cell division) and differentiation (specialization of function).

To complement her background in biochemistry and expertise in mammalian cell culture, Dr. Jones then went to the University of Sheffield and Stanford University School of Medicine to learn genetics and developmental biology in the laboratories of Prof. Philip Ingham and Dr. Margaret Fuller, respectively. It was during this time that she began to apply what she had learned about tumor initiation and progression to the study of stem cells.

After her postdoctoral work, Dr. Jones became an Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, CA. In 2013, Dr. Jones moved her lab to the University of California- Los Angeles, where she is an Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. In addition, she is an active member of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center, and the Jonnson Comprehensive Cancer Center (http://www.cancer.ucla.edu), and remains an Adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute.  She currently serves as Co-Director of the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program (http://mstp.healthsciences.ucla.edu) and is a core faculty member of the Molecular Biology Interdepartmental PhD Program (http://mbidp.mbi.ucla.edu).