Robert T. Jones, BS
MD-PhD Student, Medical Scientist Training Program
University of Colorado School of Medicine
I have always been passionate about cancer research and am committed to identifying new ways to help patients cope with and overcome such life-altering and often devastating diagnoses. My current research seeks to identify unique molecular and genetic signatures that enable better predictions of an individual’s response to targeted cancer therapies and/or conventional chemotherapies. I am also particularly interested in elucidating the mechanisms that enable cancer cells to acquire resistance to these therapies. Currently, I am working on a project that is focused on exploring novel strategies for targeting the Ral signaling axis across multiple Ras-driven cancers. My hope is to develop more effective therapeutic strategies for targeting this commonly dysregulated pathway that is central to some of the most aggressive and clinically challenging cancers.
I plan to pursue a career in academic oncology with a focus on improving the efficacy and delivery of personalized therapies. Despite the remarkable progress that has been made in precision cancer medicine over the last decade, large gaps remain between the acquisition of genomic and other molecular data and practical clinical decision-making. These challenges can be daunting – with a limited number of targeted therapies, we often struggle with understanding the functional implications of novel genetic variations, and the costs associated with individualized care can be exorbitant. These are just a few of the many issues that remain to be solved in the area of personalized cancer medicine. A career spent working with patients, while striving to improve the practical implementation of personalized approaches to patient care represents a wonderful opportunity for an exciting, challenging, and uniquely gratifying career that will satisfy my scientific interests and enable me to make meaningful contributions to humanity.