BY CHRIS POWERS
SC Staff Writer
Dr. Michelle Jones-Wilson, professor of Chemistry at East Stroudsburg University, trained as a radiopharmaceutical chemist whose task was to find different sorts of radioactive metals for identifying cancerous cells.
Her work in cancer imaging involved making radioactive metals that she would bind to organic molecules, which would, in turn, bond to antibodies. These antibodies would then bond themselves to test animals and, eventually, human tumors.
Since her stint as a radiopharmaceutical chemist, Dr. Jones-Wilson has come to ESU, where she is entering her fourteenth year.
At ESU, one of Dr. Jones-Wilson’s projects is working with students to develop teaching laboratories for physical biochemistry. The purpose of this work is to develop written lab procedures for student physical biochemistry laboratories, and she is currently in the stages of getting this manual published.
Dr. Jones-Wilson is also working with her husband, Dr. Wilson, on a project involving water monitoring in lakes through GLEON (Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network) and NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network). These two systems are live databases set up for data mining that can be utilized for research.
Dr. Jones-Wilson and Dr. Wilson are setting up buoy collection systems to collect data on dissolved oxygen, turbidity, micro-fauna, and many other types of data that could be useful to have for research.
For the short term, the husband and wife team are planning on setting up buoy collection systems in local lakes surrounding the Stroudsburg area as a test run. This is just their starting point, however.
Dr. Jones-Wilson says their goal is “to start locally, and then move internationally,” to the rift valleys in Kenya and Ethiopia.
According to Dr. Jones-Wilson, there is “so little data out there about the health cycling or anything that goes on in the rift valleys.”
This, coupled with an interest spurred by family ties there, has encouraged the pair to try and work in these places.
These two professors want to put information out into the global network of data sharing in order to both provide data for questions and to foster worldwide collaboration. They hope to be in Ethiopian lakes within a few years, but there are a lot of international relations and collaborations to work through first.
Also, at ESU, Dr. Jones-Wilson directs the Chemical Biotech and Biochemistry departments, which are two very highly enrolled programs (an average of 11-15 majors a year) and have a 92% success rate of gaining entry into field employment, graduate school, medical school, or professional school.
Despite being so active and involved with her students and projects at ESU, Dr. Jones-Wilson has two boys, ages five and three. She enjoys kayaking, riding bikes, and taking her kids for antique train rides.
Dr. Jones-Wilson is not only a dedicated chemist and professor, but she also balances this with a passion for research at large in the world and spending a great amount of time with her children at home.
Dr. Jones-Wilson is beloved by her students at ESU as well. Her students always talk of her very highly as someone they respect and admire as a professor.
Rebecca Jasulevicz, one of her Organic Chemistry Laboratory students said, “Dr. Jones-Wilson helps to make a difficult subject less intimidating, and I really feel like I get a lot out of having her as a professor. She pushes you to be a better student.”
Luisa Londono, a Chemistry major at ESU, describes Dr. Jones-Wilson as an “asset to the school,” who is “passionate about teaching” and “cares deeply about her students.”
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