Peter Jones is an expert on the role of DNA methylation in epigenetic processes in normal and cancer cells. He was born in Cape Town, raised and attended college in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and received his Ph.D. from the University of London. He was Director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center between 1993 and 2011 and he is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His laboratory discovered the effects of 5-azacytidine on cytosine methylation and he helped establish the link between DNA methylation, gene expression and differentiation.

Research Interests

Peter Jones' laboratory studies the role of DNA cytosine methylation in epigenetics. He is particularly interested in determining how altered DNA methylation patterns contribute to the initiation and progression of human cancers. He has developed genome-wide approaches for investigating the links between the covalent marks on DNA and histone proteins and how the interactions between these shape the function of the epigenome. He works with physicians and drug companies to develop epigenetic therapies for cancer patients. More recently he has become interested in potential roles for the activation of endogenous retroviruses in the responses of patients to these therapies.

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Section 41: Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology