The mission of the Jones lab is to advance our understanding of the relationship between HIV and the human immune system – primarily cytotoxic T-cells and natural killer cells. We are motivated in this both by the desire to contribute to the development of novel therapies aimed at curing HIV infection, and by the recognition that the study of the interplay between HIV and the immune system will continue to yield fundamental biological insights. Reflecting these motivations, our research program spans from basic science through to pre-clinical models of HIV infection, such as humanized mice, through to clinical trials. We also have a particular interest in immunoengineering approaches to both enhancing and studying the immune response to HIV.
A particular area of current emphasis in the lab, is understanding what factors may underlie differential susceptibilities of HIV-infected cells to killing by cytotoxic T-cells. We are exploring this using a bank of clinical samples, along with a library of HIV-specific cytotoxic T-cell clones, using advanced tissue culture techniques, transcriptomics, viral genomics, and cutting-edge approaches to measuring the HIV reservoir.
Lab Culture and Organization: Our lab fosters an environment of co-operation and team-work. While each student and postdoc has her or his own projects, we work to maximize opportunities to support and synergize with each other. This is supported by bi-weekly subgroup meetings which are organized into themes – such as the ‘viral sequencing and integration site’ subgroup – where both experimental plans and raw data are presented in an open forum. Students and post-docs take turns serving as subgroup Czars to help drive progress in these areas, and to develop their own PI-skills. Weekly lab meetings rotate between more formal data presentations, journal clubs in the area of HIV research, and ‘Breakfast burrito clubs’ in which each lab member very briefly presents a paper of interest that is outside of the area of HIV. We are a highly collaborative lab, sharing projects and grants with the labs of Darrell Irvine (MIT), Alberto Bosque (GWU), John Mellors (UPitt), Cath Bollard (GWU), Douglas Nixon (WCM), and others.
About the PI: R. Brad Jones, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Immunology in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. He delivered the basic sciences plenary lecture at the 2018 International AIDS Conference https://programme.aids2018.org/Programme/Session/36. Dr. Jones completed his BSc in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University, and his PhD in Immunology at the University of Toronto. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard and the Koch Institute of MIT.