Katherine Jones, PhD, discovered two critical proteins required for HIV gene expression. In addition, she found that the APC protein, which is mutated in colon cancers, regulates the expression of important growth control genes.
Jones studied the genetic processes involved in the expression of HIV and cancer genes, as well as conducting other disease research.
Her work focused on a process called transcription elongation, which controls the expression of HIV and cancer genes.
The Jones lab identified a class of proteins, called elongation factors, which play a pivotal role in the expression of cellular and viral genes. These proteins potently induce HIV in activated T (immune system) cells, determine whether embryonic stem cells will differentiate to specialized cell types, and are mutated in leukemia and other cancers. Her research have led to understanding how these proteins function and may help suggest new approaches to intervene in many human diseases.
Jones earned her undergraduate degree and PhD at UC Riverside. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkley and National Institutes of Health. She has been recognized with several prestigious awards, including a Pew Scholarship. Jones also served on the editorial board of Genes & Development.