Peter A. Jones, PhD, DSc

Peter A. Jones, PhD, DSc
Research Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Peter A. Jones, PhD, DSc | Class of 2013

A pioneer in the field of epigenetics, Dr. Jones has uncovered basic mechanisms of DNA methylation and its role in cancer. He discovered that 5-azacytidine can induce changes in gene expression and act as a powerful DNA methylation inhibitor, which led to the isolation of the first mammalian determination gene and to the discovery of tumor suppressor genes that are epigenetically silenced in human cancer. The drug 5-azacytadine has been approved for use in treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome.

Dr. Jones’ collaborative research has led to delineating molecular pathways in the development of bladder cancer and to the realization that DNA methylation sites are hotspots for cancer-causing mutations and that epigenetic silencing plays a major role in carcinogenesis. He helped establish the International Human Epigenome consortium and co-directs a Stand-Up-to-Cancer dream team developing new cancer treatments.

Career Highlights

2016 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences
2011 Medal of Honor, American Cancer Society
2010 Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2009 AACR-Kirk A. Landon Prize for Basic Cancer Research
2008 Oettle Award, Cancer Association of South Africa
2008 David Workman Memorial Award, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation
2005-2006 President, AACR
2001 Simon M. Shubitz Award, University of Chicago Cancer Research Center
1999 Distinguished Professor, USC
1993-2011 Director, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
1991-1994 Associate Dean for Academic and Scientific Affairs, USC School of Medicine
1989-1992 Board of Directors, AACR
1983 D.Sc., University of Zimbabwe
1983 USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship
1973 PhD, University of London