Van Andel Institute Establishes Global Epigenetics Research Hub, Becoming Stronghouse For Hot Topic In Cancer Research

World-Renowned Molecular Biologist and New Director of Research, Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Peter Jones Leading Translational Research in Epigenetics

Feb 28, 2014, 10:01 ET from Van Andel Institute

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Van Andel Institute, a world-class research and science education institute headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has established a global epigenetics research hub, tapping into a hot-button research topic responsible for new and innovative approaches to personalized cancer therapy. Epigenetics is widely regarded as the most significant new area of cancer research; it is the study of heritable changes in gene activity which are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence.

Leading this effort among the Institute's partners in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Asia and around the world is Peter A. Jones Ph.D., D.Sc., Director of Research, Chief Scientific Officer of Van Andel Research Institute. A renowned researcher with more than 40 years' experience in academia in the field of biomolecular research, Dr. Jones' recent research has focused on how epigenetic therapies might benefit those living with cancer. Dr. Jones is developing a consortium of four academic institutions in the U.S. and one abroad to develop epigenetic therapies that can be applied to human beings.

"With the appointment of Dr. Jones, a visionary leader in biomedical research, Van Andel Institute is now a global stronghouse in epigenetics, one of the most significant fields in cancer research," said David Van Andel, Chairman and CEO, Van Andel Institute. "We are embracing this field of study, extolling epigenetics to a hurting world that is hungry for answers. Paired with our translational research that is speeding the delivery of new therapies from research bench to bedside, establishing an epigenetics hub with Dr. Jones at the helm will impact millions of lives, developing new epigenetic therapies for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases."

Dr. Jones is bolstering the Institute's impressive research portfolio in cancer, neurodegenerative and other diseases while continuing his translational research in epigenetics. "As I lead our new epigenetics hub, I have already begun to build a robust clinical program, am recruiting outstanding scientists and will continue to ensure exceptional science," said Dr. Jones.

About Van Andel Institute
Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996, Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent research and educational organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich., dedicated to preserving, enhancing and expanding the frontiers of medical science, and to achieving excellence in education by probing fundamental issues of education and the learning process.  Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), VAI's research arm, is dedicated to studying the genetic, cellular and molecular origins of cancer, Parkinson's and other diseases and working to translate those findings into effective therapies. This is accomplished through the work of more than 200 researchers in on-site laboratories and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. Find out more about Van Andel Institute or donate by visiting


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