Steven Marion Jones passed away peacefully on November 14, 2020 after a short but heroic battle with colorectal cancer. His wife, Kate (Bowenkamp) and his brother were with him. He and his identical twin brother, Stanley, were born on July 2, 1964. Steven grew up in Maryland, and was always interested in science. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in biology and earned a PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
Steven’s research before and after graduate school focused on understanding the mechanisms of cancer. He worked in laboratories affiliated with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Schepens Eye Research Institute and Harvard Medical School before changing focus to explore treatments for bacterial, viral and fungal diseases. First he joined Elusys Therapeutics where he helped to develop a treatment for anthrax exposure. Next he followed his passion for infectious disease research to Vertex Pharmaceuticals where he worked on several projects including research on novel treatments for bacterial infections, tuberculosis and influenza. Later he helped spearhead early projects at Revolution Medicines exploring natural products for the treatment of infectious diseases, and later joined ContraFect to work on antibacterial and antiviral projects before finally semi-retiring in 2018. He wasn’t able to stay away from research long, because he soon returned to work part-time as a consultant for Versatope helping to discover immunotherapeutic strategies to treat allergy and infectious diseases, as well as design novel vaccines.
Steven was an adventurer. He fell in love with penguins in the 5th grade after writing a paper on Emperor Penguins. He and Kate took numerous trips to visit various species in their natural habitat. On one of the Antarctica trips they even did a polar plunge. He and his father spent 6 days on dog sleds on the sea ice in Greenland. They also sailed the Amazon River from Iquitos, Peru to Belem, Brazil. Life-long Oriole fans, both boys and their Dad took a trip to Canada to see them play. Their latest trips were to see NASCAR races.After retiring, Steven began volunteering in the Penguin Exhibit at the New England Aquarium and with the Hooves and Horns collection at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. His hobby was cooking so naturally part of his work at the zoo involved preparing the diets in the commissary to feed his “animal friends.”
Steven is survived by his wife, Kate, parents Robert and Carol Jones, twin brother Stan Jones, (Diane), sister Angela Sichelman (James), niece Rachel Jones and nephews Alexander Jones, Joshua Sichelman and Jonah Sichelman.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the New England Aquarium or to Zoo New England/Franklin Park Zoo. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. He may be gone but he will live forever in our hearts.