Ella Jones, PhD



Dr. Ella Jones has over 12 years of research experience in the private sector pioneering the development of targeted molecules for cancer imaging. At UCSF, Dr. Jones integrated cell biology, protein engineering and synthetic chemistry to develop new reporter systems for in vivo imaging of disease biomarkers. She has been funded by NIH/NCI as a PI and has successfully produced various probes for preclinical and clinical use in optical and nuclear imaging. Her major contributions include the development of COX sensitive probe for breast cancer premalignancy and the prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) targeting probe for prostate cancer.

More recently, Dr. Jones has taken a new career path focusing on translational breast cancer research. Her current research focuses on the evaluation of normal breast tissues quantified by MR imaging markers as potential independent breast cancer risk factors. Dr. Jones' vast experience in all modalities of imaging spans from the preclinical to the clinical space. In particular, her experience in PET and MR imaging well positions her to expand her research in the emerging field of hybrid PET/MRI for breast cancer characterization.


Post-doctoral training, 1993 - Chemistry, University of Oxford
PhD, 1991 - Chemistry, University of California, Davis
BS, 1987 - Chemistry, University of San Francisco

Honors and Awards

Peer Reviewer, Department of Defense, Breast Cancer, 2016
Peer Reviewer, Department of Defense, Breast Cancer, 2015
Peer Reviewer, New York State Department of Health, 2015
Peer Reviewer, Department of Defense, Breast Cancer, 2014
Poster Award Recipient, World Molecular Imaging Congress Meeting, 2013
Section Chair and Moderator, World Molecular Imaging Congress Meeting, 2013
Peer Reviewer, National Institute of Health, NIBIB Quantum Projects, 2010
Peer Reviewer, National Institute of Health, NIBIB Training SEP, 2010
Peer Reviewer, Department of Defense, Breast Cancer, 2010
Peer Reviewer, Department of Defense, Breast Cancer, 2009
Peer Reviewer, National Institute of Health, Challenge grants, 2009
Chair of the Solution Science and Engineering Network, Solutia, Inc., 2001
Chair of the Monsanto Technical Community, Phosphorus Chapter, Monsanto Chemical Company, 1997-2001
2 Outstanding Patent Awards, Mallinckrodt Medical, Inc., 1994
Assoicated Member of Balliol College, University of Oxford, 1991-1993
Outstanding Graduate Student Nominee, University of California, Davis, 1991
Non-resident Tuition Fellowship, University of California, Davis, 1987-1991
Student Award, American Chemical Society, 1987
Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry, American Chemical Society, 1986


Jones EF, Buatti JM, Shu H-K, Wahl RL, Kurland BF, Linden HM, Mankoff DA, Rubin DL, Tata D, Nordstrom RJ, Hadjiiski L, Holdhoff M, and Schwartz LH. Clinical trial design and development work group within the Quantitative Imaging Network. Tomography. 2020; in press.
Nguyen A, Vignesh A, Strand F, Wen L, Onishi N, Gibbs J, Jones EF, Joe BN, Esserman LE, Newitt DN, Hylton NM. Comparison of segmentation methods in assessing background parenchymal enhancement as a biomarker for response to neoadjuvant therapy. Tomography. 2020; in press.
Onishi N, Li W, Gibbs J, Wilmes L, Nguyen A, Jones EF, Arasu V, Kornak J, Joe BN, Esserman LJ, Newitt DC, Hylton NM. Impact of MRI protocol adherence on prediction of pathological complete response in the I-SPY 2 neoadjuvant breast cancer trial. Tomography. 2020; in press.
McNitt-Gray M, Napel S, Jaggi A, Hadjiiski L, Muzi M, Goldgof D, Balagurunathan Y, Pierce L , Mattonen S, Yang H, Jones EF, Nguyen A, Emaminejad N, Wahi-Anwar M, Daly M, Lv W, Rahmim A , Lyu W, Lu L, Abdalah M, Zhao B, Pati S, Bakas S, Gastounioti A, Kalpathy-Cramer J, and Farahani K. Standardization in Quantitative Imaging: A Multi-center Comparison of Radiomics Feature Values Obtained by Different Software Packages on Digital Reference Objects and Patient Datasets. Tomography. 2020; in press.
Li W, Newitt DC, Wilmes LJ, Jones EF, Arasu V, Gibbs J, La Yun B, Li E, Partridge SC, Kornak J, Esserman LJ, Hylton NM. Additive value of diffusion-weighted MRI in the I-SPY 2 TRIAL. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2019 Dec; 50(6):1742-1753.
Jones EF, Ray KM, Li W, Chien AJ, Mukhtar RA, Esserman LJ, Franc BL, Seo Y, Pampaloni MH, Joe BN, Hylton NM. Initial experience of dedicated breast PET imaging of ER+ breast cancers using [F-18]fluoroestradiol. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2019; 5:12.
Bartelink IH, Jones EF, Shahidi-Latham SK, Lee PRE, Zheng Y, Vicini P, van 't Veer L, Wolf D, Iagaru A, Kroetz DL, Prideaux B, Cilliers C, Thurber GM, Wimana Z, Gebhart G. Tumor Drug Penetration Measurements Could Be the Neglected Piece of the Personalized Cancer Treatment Puzzle. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2019 07; 106(1):148-163.
Huang SY, Franc BL, Harnish RJ, Liu G, Mitra D, Copeland TP, Arasu VA, Kornak J, Jones EF, Behr SC, Hylton NM, Price ER, Esserman L, Seo Y. Exploration of PET and MRI radiomic features for decoding breast cancer phenotypes and prognosis. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2018; 4:24.
Press RH, Shu HG, Shim H, Mountz JM, Kurland BF, Wahl RL, Jones EF, Hylton NM, Gerstner ER, Nordstrom RJ, Henderson L, Kurdziel KA, Vikram B, Jacobs MA, Holdhoff M, Taylor E, Jaffray DA, Schwartz LH, Mankoff DA, Kinahan PE, Linden HM, Lambin P, Dilling TJ, Rubin DL, Hadjiiski L, Buatti JM. The Use of Quantitative Imaging in Radiation Oncology: A Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN) Perspective. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 11 15; 102(4):1219-1235.
Olshen A, Wolf D, Jones EF, Newitt D, van ‘t Veer LJ, Yau C, Esserman L, Wulfkuhle JD, Gallagher RI, Singer L, Petricoin EF, Hylton N, Park CC. Features of MRI stromal enhancement with neoadjuvant chemotherapy: a subgroup analysis of the ACRIN 6657/I-SPY TRIAL. J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2018 01; 5(1):011014.
L. Singer, E. Jones, D. Newitt, J. Kornak, N. Hylton, C.C. Park. Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced MRI in Monitoring Changes in Tumor-Associated Stroma During Treatment With Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Patients With Locally Advanced Breast Cancer. International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics. 2017 Oct 1; 99(2):s194.
Bartelink IH, Prideaux B, Krings G, Wilmes L, Lee PRE, Bo P, Hann B, Coppé JP, Heditsian D, Swigart-Brown L, Jones EF, Magnitsky S, Keizer RJ, de Vries N, Rosing H, Pawlowska N, Thomas S, Dhawan M, Aggarwal R, Munster PN, Esserman LJ, Ruan W, Wu AHB, Yee D, Dartois V, Savic RM, Wolf DM, van 't Veer L. Heterogeneous drug penetrance of veliparib and carboplatin measured in triple negative breast tumors. Breast Cancer Res. 2017 Sep 11; 19(1):107.
Jones EF, Ray KM, Li W, Seo Y, Franc BL, Chien AJ, Esserman LJ, Pampaloni MH, Joe BN, Hylton NM. Dedicated Breast Positron Emission Tomography for the Evaluation of Early Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer. Clin Breast Cancer. 2017 06; 17(3):e155-e159.
Kurland BF, Aggarwal S, Yankeelov TE, Gerstner ER, Mountz JM, Linden HM, Jones EF, Bodeker KL, Buatti JM. Accrual Patterns for Clinical Studies Involving Quantitative Imaging: Results of an NCI Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN) Survey. Tomography. 2016 Dec; 2(4):276-282.
Li W, Arasu V, Newitt DC, Jones EF, Wilmes L, Gibbs J, Kornak J, Joe BN, Esserman LJ, Hylton NM. Effect of MR Imaging Contrast Thresholds on Prediction of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Response in Breast Cancer Subtypes: A Subgroup Analysis of the ACRIN 6657/I-SPY 1 TRIAL. Tomography. 2016 Dec; 2(4):378-387.
Dannoon S, Ganguly T, Cahaya H, Geruntho JJ, Galliher MS, Beyer SK, Choy CJ, Hopkins MR, Regan M, Blecha JE, Skultetyova L, Drake CR, Jivan S, Barinka C, Jones EF, Berkman CE, VanBrocklin HF. Structure-Activity Relationship of (18)F-Labeled Phosphoramidate Peptidomimetic Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA)-Targeted Inhibitor Analogues for PET Imaging of Prostate Cancer. J Med Chem. 2016 06 23; 59(12):5684-94.
Keenan KE, Peskin AP, Wilmes LJ, Aliu SO, Jones EF, Li W, Kornak J, Newitt DC, Hylton NM. Variability and bias assessment in breast ADC measurement across multiple systems. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2016 10; 44(4):846-55.
Keenan KE, Wilmes LJ, Aliu SO, Newitt DC, Jones EF, Boss MA, Stupic KF, Russek SE, Hylton NM. Design of a breast phantom for quantitative MRI. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2016 09; 44(3):610-9.
Lo WC, Li W, Jones EF, Newitt DC, Kornak J, Wilmes LJ, Esserman LJ, Hylton NM. Effect of Imaging Parameter Thresholds on MRI Prediction of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Response in Breast Cancer Subtypes. PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0142047.
Drake CR, Estévez-Salmerón L, Gascard P, Shen Y, Tlsty TD, Jones EF. Towards aspirin-inspired self-immolating molecules which target the cyclooxygenases. Org Biomol Chem. 2015 Dec 07; 13(45):11078-86.
Aliu SO, Jones EF, Azziz A, Kornak J, Wilmes LJ, Newitt DC, Suzuki SA, Klifa C, Gibbs J, Proctor EC, Joe BN, Hylton NM. Repeatability of quantitative MRI measurements in normal breast tissue. Transl Oncol. 2014 Feb; 7(1):130-7.
McLaughlin RL, Newitt DC, Wilmes LJ, Jones EF, Wisner DJ, Kornak J, Proctor E, Joe BN, Hylton NM. High resolution in vivo characterization of apparent diffusion coefficient at the tumor-stromal boundary of breast carcinomas: a pilot study to assess treatment response using proximity-dependent diffusion-weighted imaging. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2014 May; 39(5):1308-13.
Jones EF, Sinha SP, Newitt DC, Klifa C, Kornak J, Park CC, Hylton NM. MRI enhancement in stromal tissue surrounding breast tumors: association with recurrence free survival following neoadjuvant chemotherapy. PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e61969.
Wilmes LJ, McLaughlin RL, Newitt DC, Singer L, Sinha SP, Proctor E, Wisner DJ, Saritas EU, Kornak J, Shankaranarayanan A, Banerjee S, Jones EF, Joe BN, Hylton NM. High-resolution diffusion-weighted imaging for monitoring breast cancer treatment response. Acad Radiol. 2013 May; 20(5):581-9.
Mongan J, Rathnayake S, Fu Y, Wang R, Jones EF, Gao DW, Yeh BM. In vivo differentiation of complementary contrast media at dual-energy CT. Radiology. 2012 Oct; 265(1):267-72.
Tucker RM, Parcher BW, Jones EF, Desai TA. Single-injection HPLC method for rapid analysis of a combination drug delivery system. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2012 Jun; 13(2):605-10.
Jones EF, Schooler J, Miller DC, Drake CR, Wahnishe H, Siddiqui S, Li X, Majumdar S. Characterization of human osteoarthritic cartilage using optical and magnetic resonance imaging. Mol Imaging Biol. 2012 Feb; 14(1):32-9.
Davison HR, Taylor S, Drake C, Phuan PW, Derichs N, Yao C, Jones EF, Sutcliffe J, Verkman AS, Kurth MJ. Functional fluorescently labeled bithiazole ?F508-CFTR corrector imaged in whole body slices in mice. Bioconjug Chem. 2011 Dec 21; 22(12):2593-9.
Drake CR, Miller DC, Jones EF. Activatable Optical Probes for the Detection of Enzymes. Curr Org Synth. 2011 Aug; 8(4):498-520.
Cattaruzza F, Lyo V, Jones E, Pham D, Hawkins J, Kirkwood K, Valdez-Morales E, Ibeakanma C, Vanner SJ, Bogyo M, Bunnett NW. Cathepsin S is activated during colitis and causes visceral hyperalgesia by a PAR2-dependent mechanism in mice. Gastroenterology. 2011 Nov; 141(5):1864-74.e1-3.
David Pham, Ling Zhang, Bo Chen, Ella Fung Jones. Biopolymer, Dendrimer, and Liposome Nanoplatforms for Optical Molecular Imaging. Nanoplatform-Based Molecular Imaging. 2011 Mar 28; 183-196.
Noey, S.; Tam., S.; Pham, D. M.; Curtis, J.; Jones, E.F. . Tungsten Cluster Synthesis and Subsequent Ligand-Exchange Reactions. J. Chem. Ed. 2011; 88(6):793-797.
Meier R, Krug C, Golovko D, Boddington S, Piontek G, Rudelius M, Sutton EJ, Baur-Melnyk A, Jones EF, Daldrup-Link HE. Indocyanine green-enhanced imaging of antigen-induced arthritis with an integrated optical imaging/radiography system. Arthritis Rheum. 2010 Aug; 62(8):2322-7.
Lapi SE, Wahnishe H, Pham D, Wu LY, Nedrow-Byers JR, Liu T, Vejdani K, VanBrocklin HF, Berkman CE, Jones EF. Assessment of an 18F-labeled phosphoramidate peptidomimetic as a new prostate-specific membrane antigen-targeted imaging agent for prostate cancer. J Nucl Med. 2009 Dec; 50(12):2042-8.
Watkins GA, Jones EF, Scott Shell M, VanBrocklin HF, Pan MH, Hanrahan SM, Feng JJ, He J, Sounni NE, Dill KA, Contag CH, Coussens LM, Franc BL. Development of an optimized activatable MMP-14 targeted SPECT imaging probe. Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Jan 15; 17(2):653-9.
Ella F. Jones, Henry F. Van Brocklin. Bruce H. Hasegawa, PhD (1951–2008). Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. 2008 Sep 1; 15(5):733-734.
Boddington S, Sutton EJ, Jones E, Purcell DD, Henning TD, Tavri S, Meier R, Sista A, Fu Y, Daldrup-Link H. Improved fluorescence of indocyanine green in vitro and in vivo after simple cooling procedures. Contrast Media Mol Imaging. 2008 Sep-Oct; 3(5):191-7.
Ella Jones, Jiang He, Henry VanBrocklin, Benjamin Franc, Youngho Seo. Nanoprobes for Medical Diagnosis: Current Status of Nanotechnology in Molecular Imaging. Current Nanoscience. 2008 Feb 1; 4(1):17-29.
Gao Q, Reynolds GE, Innes L, Pedram M, Jones E, Junabi M, Gao DW, Ricoul M, Sabatier L, Van Brocklin H, Franc BL, Murnane JP. Telomeric transgenes are silenced in adult mouse tissues and embryo fibroblasts but are expressed in embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells. 2007 Dec; 25(12):3085-92.
Fung EY, Olmstead MM, Vickery JC, Balch AL . Glowing gold rings: Solvoluminescence from Planar Trigold(I) Complexes. Coord. Chem. Rev. 1998; 171:151.
Vickery JC, Olmstead MM, Fung EY, Balch AL. Solvent-Stimulated Luminescence from the Supramolecular Aggregation of a Trinuclear Gold(I) Complex that Displays Extensive Intermolecular Au…Au Interactions. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl. 1997; 36:1179.
Lau KW, Hu NM, Yen MH, Fung EY, Grzybicki S, Matamoros R, Curtis JC . Solvent, Electrolyte and Solute Shape Effects on Optical Electron Transfer in Mixed-Valence Ruthenium Ammine Dimers. Inorg. Chim. Acta. 1994; 226:137.
Salaymeh F, Berhane S, Yusof R, de la Rosa R, Fung EY, Matamoros R, Lau KW, Zheng Q, Kober EM, Curtis JC . Electronic Coupling in Mixed-Valence Binuclear Ruthenium Ammine Complexes as Probed by an Electrochemical Method and an Extension of R. S. Mulliken's Theory of Donor-Acceptor Interactions. Inorg. Chem. 1993; 32:3895.
Balch AL, Fung EY, Nagle JK, Olmstead MM, Rowley SP . Lead(II)/Platinum(II) Complexes with and without Pb-Pt Interactions. Inorg. Chem. 1993; 32:3295.
Balch AL, Davis BJ, Fung EY, Olmstead MM . Palladium-thallium Interactions in Dinuclear Complexes with Structural Components that Place the Two Metal Centers in Close Proximity. Inorg. Chim. Acta. 1993; 212:149.
Balch AL, Fung EY, Olmstead MM . Polynuclear ((Diphenylphosphino)-methyl)-phenylarsine Bridged Complexes of Gold(I). Bent Chains of Gold(I) and a Role for Au(I)-Au(I) Interactions in Guiding a Reaction. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1990; 112:5181.
Balch AL, Fung EY, Olmstead MM . Preparation and Structure of Two Polynuclear Aggregate Obtained Using the Metalloligand {ClAuPPh2CH2}2AsPh. Inorg. Chem. 1990; 29:3203.
Balch AL, Fung EY . Two- and Four-Coordinate Gold(I) Complexes of Tris(2-diphenylphosphinoethyl)phosphine. Inorg. Chem. 1990; 29:4764.
Fung EY, Chua A, Curtis JC . Evidence for a Specific Solvent-Solute Interaction as a Major Contributor to the Excited-State Distortion of the Emitting Charge-Transfer State in the Complex (bpy)2RuII(CN)2. Inorg. Chem. 1988; 27:1294.
Chang JP, Fung EY, Curtis JC . Evidence for Specific Solvent-Solute Interactions as a Major Contributor to the Franck-Condon Energy in Intervalence-Transfer Absorptions of Ruthenium Amine Complexes. Inorg. Chem. 1986; 25:4233.