Dr. Jones joined Tufts CTSI in September 2012. He is actively increasing the research collaborations between Northeastern University, Brandeis University, and Tufts University School of Medicine.
Dr. Jones received a first class honors degree from the University of Liverpool and a PhD and DipIC in organic chemistry from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London for his research on analogues of the antitumor agent mitomycin C. He was then awarded a NATO fellowship which he held at Harvard University with the 1990 chemistry Nobelist Elias J. Corey.
Dr. Jones’ research program is focused on the development of experimental therapeutics wherein chemical synthesis techniques are applied to the preparation of drugs and imaging agents for specific biologic and clinical targets. This involves extensive collaboration with clinical partners, which ensures a use-inspired need for the technologies. He was instrumental in establishing a translational research program between the Greenville Hospital System and Clemson University, which resulted in development of a new class of antitumoral agents composed of nuclear receptor hormone-toxin conjugates. Subsequent research led to development of new antibody-toxin conjugates related to the AML agent Mylotarg®.
In collaboration with researchers at Harvard Medical School, he developed a new class of agents which modulate DNA slipped synthesis linked to polyglutamine disorders such as Huntington’s disease. Other key developments include a class of prodrugs and image contrast agents activated by PSA (collaboration with the Beth Israel Deaconess and Brigham & Womens Hospital), light activated antitumoral agents (Boston University Medical School), and agents for use in cancer immunotherapy (Dana Farber Cancer Center).
Recent work has focused on technology for the production of 18F labeled agents for PET imaging (with Massachusetts General Hospital) which resulted in the development of new probes for Alzheimer’s disease (collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation), cardiovascular disease, and oncology. Through his experience with chemical technology he has also been involved in clinical trial analysis, and gave invited testimony at the FDA hearing on biosimilars, instrumental in the development of formal guidelines which were issued in 2012.
Through his research program he has mentored over 50 postdoctoral, doctoral and BS-MS fellows, many of whom have pursued medical careers. In addition to federal research support for laboratories, he is co-PI on Northeastern’s NSF-funded ADVANCE program which provides institution-wide mentoring to junior faculty, and a T-32 type training program in radiomedicinal chemistry, supported by the DoE.
Dr. Jones is editor-in-chief of the series Advances in DNA Sequence Specific Agents, sits on the editorial boards of several scientific journals and is a scientific advisor to a number of technology based startup companies. He is the recipient of numerous research prizes and accolades and was awarded the DSc for career contributions to medicinal chemistry.