Professor Keith Jones (centre) with Dr Chris Milton and Professor Clare Isacke.
Professor Keith Jones played a central role in our postgraduate teaching and learning programmes in his 13 years at the ICR, as well as leading a successful team of medical chemists as part of our thriving drug discovery research programme.
As Deputy Dean for biomedical sciences, he was part of a team responsible for the management of education and training activities including our PhD programme and our MSc in Oncology.
Professor Jones was well-known among our student community for his commitment to student welfare as well as academic progress, giving individual support and guidance to several generations of our students.
He was also instrumental in a number of big changes in the ICR's degree programmes, including the introduction of a modern online system to help students to monitor and keep on track of their course.
He improved student induction, developed new workshops, and ran the popular Wellcome Trust retreat for Wellcome-funded PhD students.
As well as his work on our postgraduate degree programmes, Professor Jones led a team in our Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit, playing an integral part in the most successful academic drug discovery unit in the world over the past decade.
He will be succeeded in the role of Deputy Dean by Professor Jeff Bamber.
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Thanked by students
At the ICR Conference this summer, Professor Jones was thanked by Student Committee President Irene Matucci and Postdoctoral Training Fellow Dr Chris Milton on behalf of the ICR's students.
Irene told Keith: "You've always challenged us and tried to make us better scientists. You've encouraged us to collaborate as you yourself have done throughout your entire career. We've always felt like you cared about us, and you've made us feel valued by both yourself and the institute. Thank you from all of us in the student body at the ICR."
Chris said: "Keith has not only pursued great science, but dedicated himself to the next generation of ICR scientists. He supported me from my first day of my PhD, and beyond that to life as a Postdoc. I've been fortunate to get to know him and his boundless energy well both as a member of his lab and outside the ICR, sharing many trips rock climbing. His energy is limitless, and he has taught us all so much."
Training the next generation
Academic Dean Professor Clare Isacke said: "A vital part of our work to defeat cancer is training the next generation of researchers. No one has done more to make this happen than Keith. Keith has helped to innovate so many improvements for our student body – from new PhD induction events, to championing training for academic supervisors.
"Most importantly, a huge amount of his time went into talking to, advising and encouraging students and fellow supervisors, and he is deservedly a much respected and liked leader, who I know will be hugely missed".
Professor Jones said: "As I reach the end of my scientific career, it is very exciting to see our young researchers pushing ideas and driving scientific enquiry and I'm happy to retire knowing our future is in safe hands. It's been a privilege to work with so many really smart people here at the ICR."
He added: "One last word of advice – carry on enjoying the science!"