Professor Peter Jones
Van Andel Research Institute

Peter Jones was born in Cape Town, raised and attended college in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and received his Ph.D. from the University of London.  He joined the University of Southern California in 1977 and served as Director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center between 1993 and 2011.  He became Chief Scientific Officer of Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2014.  

His laboratory discovered the effects of 5-azacytidine on cytosine methylation and first established the link between DNA methylation, gene expression and differentiation.  He helped pioneer the field of epigenetics, particularly its role in cancer, and helped develop novel therapies for cancer.  

He has published more than 300 scientific papers and received several honours, including an Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute.  He and his colleague Stephen Baylin shared the Kirk Landon Award for Basic Cancer Research from the AACR in 2009 and the Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society in 2011. Dr. Jones is a past President of the American Association for Cancer Research and was elected a Fellow of the AAAS in 2009 and a Fellow of the Academy of the AACR in 2013. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2016 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.