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  8. E. Jones
  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

E. Ellen Jones Ph.D.
Leadership Role

Staff Fellow, Biomarkers and Alternative Models Branch — Division of Systems Biology


E. Ellen Jones, Ph.D.
(870) 543-7121

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About  Publications


Dr. Jones (also known as Schwegler, E.E.) graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Baylor University, Waco, TX, and a Ph.D. in systems biology from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. Her dissertation work centered on the use of proteomic technologies to aid biomarker discovery for the early detection of cancer. This work relied upon the use of mass spectrometry-based profiling for the detection of serum proteins indicative of the earliest incidence of liver and prostate cancers. This work resulted in a scholar-in-training award from Ilex Biologicals, Pvt. Ltd. at the 2004 National American Association of Cancer Research Meeting. In addition to global proteomic profiling, Dr. Jones also developed a specific upfront lectin affinity capture approach for use in biofluids and tissues for the identification of cancer-associated glycoproteins. Using lectin capture and the PNGaseF enzyme for glycan release, both glycoproteins and associated glycans could be analyzed to assess whether specific glycosylation events could be used for the early detection of cancers.

As issues with the dynamic range of serum and plasma increased, Dr. Jones and her lab turned to more specific biomarker assays such as exosome isolation from fluids. She specifically worked on a study isolating exosomes from prostatic secretions using proteomic analysis. Dr. Jones’s research interest transitioned to the field of metabolomics, specifically in using mass spectrometry-based imaging within these workflows. Dr. Jones was key in establishing the matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI IMS) center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) where she utilized a 7T Solarix Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometer (FTICR) MS for imaging work. Dr. Jones worked on several high-resolution mass spectrometry-based imaging projects which led to many publications. Due to the lipidomic focus of MUSC, many projects were interested in identifying sphingolipids or previously hard-to-detect lipid classes in cancer. Dr. Jones developed methods to detect these lipids using a subset of Gaucher and Faber models. Following method verification with these models, methods were then applied to a variety of disease and cancer studies as well as a neuro study with the University of California at Los Angeles to assess traumatic brain injury.

Most of Dr. Jones’s experience within MALDI IMS is with high-resolution mass spectrometers and much of her work has focused on developing new methodology at the forefront of imaging research. Dr. Jones’s three-dimensional (3D) mouse lung reconstruction project publication represents the first high-resolution data set which could be reduced and therefore utilized for 3D imaging with an updated version of the SCiLS™ Lab software. Dr. Jones has also used tissue imaging to assess drug distributions and or drug metabolites, a rapidly growing area in toxicology. Lastly, Dr. Jones helped establish a method for mass spectrometry-based imaging of n-linked glycans in tissues, which had also never been shown in imaging workflows.


Research Interests

The implementation of cutting-edge technologies such as high-resolution MALDI imaging within FDA is critical as it corresponds to technology use by pharmaceutical companies in preclinical and clinical studies to identify biomarkers of drug efficacy and toxicity. This data is beginning to be included within FDA drug filings. These studies are performed using a state-of-the-art high-resolution FTICR mass spectrometer (scimaX MRMS 7T FTICR MS) capable of the mass accuracy and resolution required for small molecule imaging. The MALDI IMS team at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) is one of only a handful of groups across the country which possess both the instrumentation and experience needed to conduct this research.


Professional Societies/National and International Groups

Imaging Mass Spectrometry Society
Pharmacology Working Group
2020 – Present

2015 – Present


Selected Publications

MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry: An Emerging Tool in Neurology.
Schnackenberg L.K., Thorn D.A., Barnette D., and Jones E.E.
Metab Brain Dis. 2022, 37(1):105-121. doi: 10.1007/s11011-021-00797-2. Epub 2021 Aug 4. 

MALDI Mass Spectrometry Imaging of N-linked Glycans in Cancer Tissues.
Drake R.R., Powers T.W., Jones E.E., Bruner E., Mehta A.S., and Angel P.M.
Adv Cancer Res. 2017, 134:85-116. doi: 10.1016/bs.acr.2016.11.009. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Tissue Localization of Glycosphingolipid Accumulation in a Gaucher Disease Mouse Brain by LC-ESI-MS/MS and High Resolution MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry.
Jones E.E., Zhang W., Zhao X., Quiason C., Dale S., Shahidi-Latham S., Grabowski G.A., Setchell K.D.R., Drake R.R., and Sun Y.
SLAS Discovery. 2017, 2472555217719372. PMID: 28401432.

Feasibility Assessment of a MALDI FTICR Imaging Approach for the 3D Reconstruction of a Mouse Lung.
Jones E.E., Quaison C., Dale S., and Shahidi-Latham S.K.
J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2017, 28(8):1709-1715. doi: 10.1007/s13361-017-1658-3. Epub 2017 Apr 11. PMID: 28401432.

Proteomic Profiling of Serial Pre-Diagnostic Serum Samples for Early Detection of Colon Cancer in the U.S. Military.
Shao S., Neely B.A., Kao T.C., Eckhaus J., Brooks J., and Jones E.E.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016, PMCID: PMC5413427. DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0732.

“Detection and Distribution of Sphingolipids in Tissue by FTICR MALDI IMS”.
Jones E.E., Dworski S., Kamani M., Liu X., Hannun Y., Norris J., Medin J.A., and Drake R.R.
Springer: Bioactive Sphingolipids in Cancer Biology and Therapy. 2015, pg. 339-358.

Tissue Biomarkers of Drug Efficacy: Case Studies Using a MALDI MSI Workflow.
Jones E.E., Gao P., Smith C.D., Norris J.S., and Drake RR.
Bioanalysis. 2015, 7(20)2611-9. PMID: 26505686.

On-Tissue Localization of Ceramides and Other Sphingolipids by MALDI Mass Spectrometry Imaging.
Jones E.E., Dworski S., Canals D., Casas J., Fabrias G., Schoenling D., Levade T., Denlinger C., Hannun Y.A., Medin J.A., Drake R.R.
Anal Chem. 2014, 86(16):8303-11. PMCID: PMC4139181.

In-Depth Proteomic Analyses of Exosomes Isolated from Expressed Prostatic Secretions in Urine.
Principe S., Jones E.E., Kim Y., Sinha A., Nyalwidhe J.O., Brooks J., Semmes O.J., Troyer D.A., Lance R.S., Kislinger T., and Drake R.R.
Proteomics. 2013, 13(10-11):1667-1671. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201200561. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Imaging Mass Spectrometry Workflow for Spatial Profiling Analysis of N-Linked Glycan Expression in Tissues.
Powers T.W., Jones E.E., Betesh L.R., Romano P.R., Gao P., Copland J.A., Mehta A.S., and Drake R.R.
Anal Chem. 2013, 85(20):9799-806. doi: 10.1021/ac402108x. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Lectin Capture Strategies Combined with Mass Spectrometry for the Discovery of Serum Glycoprotein Biomarkers.
Drake R.R., Schwegler E.E., Malik G., Diaz J., Block T., Mehta A., and Semmes O.J.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2006, 5(10):1957-67. Epub 2006 Jun 7. Review. PMID: 16760258 https://doi.org/10.1074/mcp.M600176-MCP200.

SELDI-TOF MS Profiling of Serum for Detection of the Progression of Chronic Hepatitis C to Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Schwegler E.E., Cazares L., Steel L.F., Adam B.L., Johnson D.A., Semmes O.J., Block T.M., Marrero J.A., and Drake R.R.
Hepatology. 2005, 41(3):634-42. PMID: 15726646.

Contact Information
E. Ellen Jones
(870) 543-7121
Technology & Discipline
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