Members of our laboratory bring unique skills and experiences that strengthen our research and community:
DR. STEPHEN JONES
Dr. Jones was born and trained in the United States. He earned his doctorate in Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology and Biochemistry at Brown University with Dr. Richard Bennett. He produced his postdoctoral research in CRISPR biochemistry and cellular aging with Dr. Ilya Finkelstein at the University of Texas. In 2021, he established his research group at the EMBL Partnership Institute in Vilnius University's Life Sciences Center, where he leads the group in their search to discover and characterize CRISPR and other programmable nucleases with next-generation biochemistry.
Stephen lives in Vilnius, Lithuania with his wife Eva and their greyhound, Audrey Sparkles. Beyond science, Stephen is also a musician, mechanic, adventurer and lover of life.
Urtė was born and raised in Vilnius, Lithuania. She attended a local gymnasium until 2019, where she discovered her passion for chemistry and biology. This inspired her to pursue a Biochemistry degree at Vilnius University. Now in the third year of her program, Urtė is very excited to be a part of Dr. Jones’ laboratory. She's looking forward to gaining hands-on experience with leading research methods and growing her love for science. Outside the laboratory, Urtė spent several years as a member of the Lithuanian Riflemen's Union, and she now advocates for her fellow students through the Vilnius University Students' Representation (VU SA) organization - a non-profit that represents the interests of students at Vilnius University and beyond.
Fausta grew up surrounded by forests and lakes in Moletai and currently is living in Vilnius. She is now entering her second year at Vilnius University majoring in Molecular biology. Fausta was inspired to dive into the science world by VU iGEM team and their past projects. She is passionate about science, new opportunities, and future development. That’s why she is one of the organizers of the International Life Sciences conference The COINS. Currently, at Dr. Jones’ lab she is learning methods used in the molecular biology laboratory and helping others with their research projects. Fausta is looking forward to deepening and expanding her knowledge and practice skills in the science field.
Ieva began her life and education in Kaunas, Lithuania. She then spent three years abroad at the University of Manchester, where she completed her bachelor studies in biomedical sciences. During her time in the United Kingdom, Ieva realized that her passion in biology is at the molecular level, which helped her decide to continue her master studies in molecular biotechnology at Vilnius University. Ieva is beyond excited to join Dr. Jones’ laboratory, where she will be part of a team that pushes our understanding of science even further.
Outside of academia, Ieva loves cycling, traveling (as much as the time allows) and playing the piano for pleasure.
Lina is a Vilnius native and one of our experts on the area. While attending a local gymnasium, Lina became curious about many different topics and saw herself as a future artist. But as she watched her brother begin his studies in physics, her own interest in the life sciences began to flourish. This influenced her to pursue the goal of becoming a scientist and study at Vilnius University. Now she is working on a Master’s degree in Genetics and continuing to grow her love and passion for life’s mysteries.
Beyond the laboratory, Lina enjoys sharing scientific news and ideas with her family and friends, reading books, learning vintage photography, writing poetry, and taking her dog Gilė on long evening walks.
Daniel joins our lab from Ibadan, Nigeria. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Plant Science and Biotechnology at Adekunle Ajasin University. There, he developed a keen passion for biotechnology, fascinated by how it can solve emerging challenges faced by humans. In Autumn 2021, Daniel joined us at the EMBL Partnership Institute in Vilnius University's Life Sciences Center. While working toward his Masters degree in Molecular Biotechnology, he will help us understand how CRISPR nucleases coordinate with guide RNAs to enable targeted gene editing.
Rokas was born and raised in Vilnius, where he obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in Biochemistry at Vilnius University. Rokas earned his doctorate in natural sciences with Prof. Joao Matos at ETH Zurich. Throughout his career, he has studied bacterial anti-phage defense systems, eukaryotic homologous recombination and DNA repair. In Dr. Jones group, Rokas will focus his skills on developing high-throughput approaches to discover and characterize novel CRISPR nucleases.
Besides his scientific interests, Rokas enjoys doing sports, reading books and going on long hikes into the wilderness.
Born in Delaware and currently living in Massachusetts, Ieva is now entering her second year in University of California, San Diego, majoring in Biology with Specialisation in Bioinformatics. She became particularly interested in life sciences when she led the BioBuilders Club in high school. There, she was able to gain an understanding for the research process when publishing an original design in a high school peer-reviewed journal. During her seven week internship at Jones!Lab, she looks forward to gaining fundamental wet lab skills, as well as acquainting herself with bioinformatics.
As our experienced Research Adviser, Audrey urges us to trust our senses and our data. She also reminds us that just because you can, doesn't mean you should! Most importantly, she recommends caring for your neighbor.
Our best work comes from teaming up with top scientists from around the globe.
Here's who we've worked with: