National Physical Laboratory

Alex Jones

Alex Jones

Research interests

  • Biological chemistry, physics and metrology
  • Time-resolved and laser spectroscopy, multiphoton microscopy, optical and magnetic method development
  • Opto- and magnetogenetic tools for spatiotemporal control of biological systems
  • Mechanistic photo-, magneto- and quantum biology


Alex Jones joined the NPL Biotechnology Group in 2017 to lead on the development of time-resolved spectroscopy, non-linear microscopy and optogenetics. He has previously held Colt Foundation PhD (Leicester) and Postdoctoral (Manchester) Research Fellowships and was the first Research Fellow in Photon Science at The University of Manchester.

His current research focuses on developing innovative approaches for the optical and magnetic control of biomolecular systems for applications ranging from plant science to future cell and gene therapies. This activity is informed by a thorough understanding of the physical basis of life through high-resolution measurements. Alex has published numerous papers, including publications in high-impact journals (Angew Chem Int Ed, JACS, Nature, PNAS and Nature Commun), and in 2015 his work was recognised by the European Society for Photobiology Young Investigator Award.

Alex is Scientific Advisor to the Colt Foundation (occupational and environmental medicine), is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, and in 2016 he chaired the RSC Recent Appointees in Physical Chemistry Meeting. His work has been reported on by national newspapers (e.g. The Telegraph) and NHS Choices, and he has an active programme of public outreach lectures on mulitdiscipinary science, animal magnetoreception and quantum biology.

Selected recent publications

Contact details

Tel: 020 8943 6921

Last Updated: 30 Jan 2019
Created: 16 Oct 2017


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