Dr. Louise Jones
Head of Translational Research, Medical Research Council
Telephone +44 020 7395 2229
Louise Jones has been working in translational research for over 15 years. She joined the Medical Research Council (MRC) in January 2014 as Head of Translation. Her current portfolio comprises oversight of MRC’s translational funding and industry initiatives, including the MRC/Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst and the recently launched MRC-Industry Asset Sharing Initiative.
Louise performed her PhD at the Clinical Sciences Centre, Hammersmith Hospital on haemophilia A. Following post-doctoral research at the CR-UK laboratories at St Bart’s in leukaemia, she joined the Children’s Cancer Group as a non-clinical Lecturer, where she spent 7 years specialising in the molecular aetiology of paediatric leukaemias. Louise then moved into research management and spent 7 years at Cancer Research UK (CR-UK) working in the Clinical and Translational Research Directorate. As Head of Translational Research, a position she held for 4 years, she had responsibility for cancer drug discovery, biomarkers and imaging research. This followed three years working on CR-UK Strategy for tissue resources and biomarkers and running the ECMC Network Secretariat.
About Medical Research Council
Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health. Thirty-one MRC-funded researchers have won Nobel prizes in a wide range of disciplines, and MRC scientists have been behind such diverse discoveries as vitamins, the structure of DNA and the link between smoking and cancer, as well as achievements such as pioneering the use of randomised controlled trials, the invention of MRI scanning, and the development of a group of antibodies used in the making of some of the most successful drugs ever developed. Today, MRC-funded scientists tackle some of the greatest health problems facing humanity in the 21st century, from the rising tide of chronic diseases associated with ageing to the threats posed by rapidly mutating micro-organisms. www.mrc.ac.uk
Opportunities to deliver translational research through partnership
The challenges associated with the discovery of new treatments for disease are well documented. Biology is complex, and much of the low-hanging fruit of drug discovery have already been picked. We need to understand more about the biology of human disease if we are to develop new effective and safe treatments. We also need to understand the complexity of disease, to work out which patients might respond well to particular drugs, and why some do not.
The development path of a new therapeutic is a long, expensive and difficult task, with a low probability of success. However, by bringing together the strengths of academic researchers — who investigate the underlying biology of diseases — with the drug development, testing and production know-how of pharmaceutical companies, we hope to accelerate the discovery of safer, more effective medicines.
The MRC supports a range of activities that increase our understanding of the mechanisms of human disease, how we can identify markers of disease and its progression, and ways to understand and evaluate the effects of treatments, be they pharmaceutical, surgical, or behavioural; the MRC also funds academic researchers to work with industry in a variety of ways at the very beginning in many of our strategic activities.
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