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Jonathan Jones

Professor, Senior Research Group Leader
The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich
United Kingdom

Professor Jonathan Jones (JJ), Senior Research Group Leader, Sainsbury Lab, Norwich.

JJ studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, graduating in Botany in 1976 followed by a PhD on cereal chromosomes till 1980 at the Plant Breeding Institute and Genetics Dept in Cambridge. He was then a postdoc in Fred Ausubel's lab in Boston, on symbiotic nitrogen fixation, and from 83-88 worked at an early agbiotech company, AGS, on Agrobacterium-based plant genetic engineering and plant transposons.

JJ has been at TSL since 1988, isolating some of the first resistance genes and investigating their mechanisms. Along with collaborator Jeff Dangl, he proposed the zig-zag-zig conceptual framework for cell-surface receptor-initiated immunity and its attenuation by pathogen effectors that are themselves recognized by intracellular receptors. He also proposed the Guard Hypothesis that immune receptors can detect the effects of pathogen effectors on host proteins. His lab is now focused on (i) isolating, understanding and deploying new genes for potato late blight resistance from wild potato relatives (ii) understanding the mechanisms of the Arabidopsis RPS4/RRS1 immune receptor complex.

JJ served as head of TSL from 1994 to 1997 and 2003 – 2009. He is also a Professor at University of East Anglia and has served as editor of The Plant Cell and Genome Biology. He was elected an EMBO Member 1998, a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2003 and a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2015.