To be added to the scientific events notification list, please click here.
Have you ever wondered about what happens behind the scenes at VAI?
Please join us for Behind the Scenes at Van Andel Institute to get an exclusive look. As a loyal supported of VAI, we are inviting you to this special virtual opportunity. Presentations from VAI leadership about the Institute’s work and how it impacts the lives of those with cancer and Parkinson’s disease will be featured. You’ll hear from David and Carol Van Andel, Dr. Peter A. Jones and Dr. Russell Jones.
A Q&A session with VAI scientists will follow. Grab a cup of coffee, and join the virtual conversation.
Dr. Peter A. 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 is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of Van Andel Institute (VAI) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His laboratory discovered the effects of 5-azacytidine on cytosine methylation and he first established the link between DNA methylation, gene expression and differentiation. He pioneered the field of epigenetics, particularly its role in cancer, and helped develop novel therapies for cancer. Dr. Jones is a past president of the American Association for Cancer Research, a Fellow of the AACR Academy, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published more than 300 scientific papers and received several honors, including the Outstanding Investigator Grant from the National Cancer Institute. He and his colleague Dr. Stephen Baylin shared the Kirk A. Landon Award for Basic Cancer Research from the AACR in 2009 and the Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society in 2011.
Dr. Russell Jones is a leading expert in the study of cancer metabolism and immunology. As professor and program lead of the Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group at Van Andel Research Institute, his work seeks to uncover how cancer cells fuel themselves through metabolic interactions, with the ultimate goal of developing new cancer therapeutics.
He earned his B.Sc. with honors in Biochemistry and his Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto, where he studied in the lab of Dr. Pamela S. Ohashi. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Craig B. Thompson at University of Pennsylvania in 2008, he accepted a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Goodman Cancer Research Centre at McGill University. He was subsequently promoted to associate professor in 2014 and, in 2017, also took on the role of director of the Metabolomics Core Facility at Goodman Cancer Research Centre. He joined Van Andel Research Institute’s Center for Cancer and Cell Biology in 2018 as program lead and a founding member of its Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group. Dr. Jones has earned numerous accolades throughout his career, including a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Bernard and Francine Dorval Prize from the Canadian Cancer Society, and several teaching awards at McGill University. He was named a William Dawson Scholar in 2014 and elected to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada in 2015. He also serves as a reviewer for a number of journals, including Cell Metabolism, Immunity, Nature, Nature Immunology and Science.