Ella Jones, PhD
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Address||1600 Divisadero Mt. Zion Bldg |
San Francisco CA 94115
Cancer development is a multi-step process with well-defined pathological characteristics. It undergoes sequential stages from normal tissues to proliferative benign lesions and finally carcinomas and invasive carcinomas. These stages can be broadly defined as premalignancy, malignancy and metastasis. Study of the underlying cellular and molecular signaling pathways at different stages of cancer not only will advance our understanding of the disease itself, it will also help us to develop new tools for early detection, personalized treatment and ultimately strategies of disease prevention. Dr. Jones' research is to fully integrate cell biology, protein engineering and synthetic chemistry to develop new reporter systems for in vivo imaging of biomarkers that are important to all stages of cancer development. Her interests include in vivo characterization of variant human mammary epithelial cells (vHMECs) in breast premalignancy, targeted imaging of malignant prostate cancer with prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) inhibitors and molecular imaging of metastatic lymph nodes in breast cancer using dendrimer based protease sensing probes. As an enabling technology, nanoparticles in forms of dendritic polymer, liposomes and quantum dots are also being explored to advance cancer imaging in Jones' laboratory.
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