Matt Jones



Research Assistant, Penn State University with Dr. Matthew Thomas and Dr. Andrew Read (beginning fall 2012)

Assistant Research Scientist, Arbovirus Laboratory, NYSDOH Wadsworth Center (2007 – Fall 2012)

Senior Laboratory Technician, Arbovirus Laboratory, NYSDOH Wadsworth Center (2004 –2007)

B.S. in Biochemistry, State University of New York at Oswego (2004)

Research interests

My research interest, in a broad sense, focuses on vector host interactions of arthropod-borne diseases. Previously I have worked on a multi-year project looking at the many factors that influence West Nile virus transmission from site to site and year to year across an urbanization gradient (intact forest to a developed city setting) in the Washington D.C. area. This main project goal also gave rise to multiple side projects as additional question were asked. All of these varying goals and subsequent questions required a diverse knowledge base of techniques and protocols from numerous scientific disciplines. This has led to what I believe is my strong suit: a vast knowledge of procedures ranging from hands on tissue culture techniques to fully automated robotic manipulation. I suppose the old adage applies to me, just without the negative connotation: “jack of all trades.” I am a quick study and always interested in learning new techniques to expand my knowledge.

My molecular experience ranges from kit based assays to fully automated robotic extractions. Specifically, the project required me to use Real-Time PCR to estimate the minimum infection rate of mosquito pools. PCR was used to differentiate Culex mosquito species and obtain population information; and PCR was also used to amplify host DNA in an engorged mosquito, followed by sequencing to determine feeding preferences. Most recently, I designed a multiplex PCR that would differentiate blood meals from potentially three hosts in a single reaction. Extraction and purification of DNA/RNA was accomplished using kit, robotic MagMax, and chelex based methods.

I have experience in serological techniques, which include the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and also the microsphere based Luminex assay. All of these techniques were used to screen or confirm the presence of WNV antibodies in avian serum. This data, in conjunction with point counts, was then used to determine the seroprevalence rates of the avian population at our study sites. Most recently, I was tasked with evaluating, optimizing, and trouble shooting an indirect IgG & IgM ELISA to detect antibodies to eastern equine encephalitis virus in human serum samples.


Gómez, A., Kramer, L. D., Dupuis II, A. P., Kilpatrick, A. M., Davis, L. J., Jones, M. J., et al., 2008. Experimental Infection of Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) with West Nile Virus. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 79(3): 447-451.

Kilpatrick, A. M., Kramer, L. D., Jones, M. J., Marra, P. P., Daszak, P., & Fonseca, D. M., 2007. Genetic Influences on Mosquito Feeding Behavoir and the Emergence of Zoonotic Pathogens. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 77(4):667-671.

Kilpatrick, A. M., Daszak, P., Jones, M. J., Marra, P. P., & Kramer, L. D., 2006. Host Heterogeneity Dominates West Nile Virus Transmission. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 273(1599):2327-2333.

Kilpatrick, A. M., Kramer, L. D., Jones, M. J., Marra, P. P., & Daszak, P., 2006. West Nile Virus Epidemics in North American are Driven by Shifts in Mosquito Feeding Behavoir. PLoS Biology. 4(4):e82.

Dupuis II, A. P., Marra, P. P., Reitsma, R., Jones, M. J., Louie, K. L., & Kramer, L. D., 2005. Serological Evidence for West Nile Virus Transmission in Pueto Rico and Cuba. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 73(2):474-476.

Poster Presentation: M. J. Jones, L. D. Kramer, K. A. Ngo, P. P. Marra, P. Daszak, and A. M. Kilpatrick. “West Nile Virus Epidemics in North American Are Driven by Shifts in Mosquito Feeding Behavior.” Department of Biomedical Sciences, Annual Meeting. Rensselaerville, NY, September 2005.


Outside of what most would probably call a “nerdy” profession, I enjoy nerdy things. I’m into competitive online PC strategy games (Starcraft, DoTA, HoN) and role-playing games (Diabl, Skyrim, and World of WarCraft). Of course, a video game resume wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my preferred consoles: PlayStation 3 and Vita. So it probably seems like all I do is play video games, but I assure you, there is still plenty of time for other things!

Within the past year or two, I’ve become much more active and began using my gym membership. I’m a proud graduate of the P90X program and look forward to moving up to P90X2. At the gym I focus mainly on lifting, but I do run from time to time even though I see it more as a punishment then a relaxing past time.  I also enjoy an ice cold beer while watching both the NY Giants (NFL) and the NY Rangers (NHL). Hopefully rooting for a NY team in PA won’t cause too many issues.