Elena Jones

Elena Jones


I graduated with a BSc in Immunology and obtained a PhD in Experimental Oncology from the All-Union Cancer Research Centre, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow. In 1993 I obtained Royal Society Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to conduct research on human leaukaemias in the Haematological Malignancies Diagnostic Service, Leeds TH NHS Trust, Leeds, UK. My post-doctoral studies were performed in the Molecular Medicine Unit, the University of Leeds, and were dedicated to gene therapy with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Since joining the Academic Unit of Musculoskeletal Disease, later transformed into the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, my research interests are focused on the study of human MSCs in health and rheumatic/orthopaedic conditions and their use in Regenerative Medicine.


  • Faculty representative at the Programmes of Study and Audit Group
  • Deputy Head of Experimental Rheumatology

Research interests

In 2002 I described the CD271+ phenotype of native/uncultured MSCs in human bone marrow and in 2004 I discovered MSCs in human synovial fluid. My MSC isolation methodology based on the CD271 marker has been adopted by the Industry, initially as research methodology and subsequently, as a clinical-grade process, more information here.  I have subsequently developed novel ideas on the large-scale extraction of MSCs from cancellous and cortical bone, joint soft tissues and from surgical by-products (reaming waste bags and fatty marrow).

 In the area of orthopaedics, I am currently developing novel quality-control tools for the therapeutic use of minimally-manipulated, bone-derived MSC for bone repair applications such as acute fractures, segmental bone defects, and fracture non-unions. In the area of the rheumatic diseases, my main research interest is Osteoarthritis (OA), and how joint resident MSCs (both subchondral bone- and synovial fluid-derived) can be biologically or biomechanically stimulated to induce cartilage regeneration. I continue to explore the biology of MSCs in combination with novel scaffolds towards tissue engineering of new bone and periosteum for large-defect bone reconstruction.


  • PhD in Experimental Oncology
  • BSc in Immunology

Professional memberships

  • International Society for Cell Therapy

Student education

Stem Cell Therapy and Tissue Engineering module (DSUR5072M), from 2009: Lectures: introduction to stem cells (L3) and Stem cell isolation and characterization (L4), standard setting of exam papers (annually)

CDTTERM iMBE, Cross Disciplinary Laboratory Placement (MECH5002M), from 2014: Organiser/supervisor, Mini-tutorials, laboratory supervision, marking

CDTTERM iMBE, The systematic review (MECH5007M), from 2014: Supervision, marking, second-marking.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine
  • Musculoskeletal disease
  • Regenerative medicine

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>