Lataisia Jones, Ph.D. is a Scientific Research Officer (SRO) in the Scientific Review Branch (SRB) at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Prior to joining the NINDS, Dr. Jones worked as the Senior Ethics Specialist and contributed to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Before her work in Ethics, she completed her postdoctoral research at Children's National Hospital (Washington, DC) within the Center for Neuroscience Research, where her work focused on using in utero electroporation (IUE) and other novel techniques to introduce plasmid DNA into embryonic mouse brains to study the involvement of Plexins in corpus callosum development and their association with Autism Spectrum Disorders. As a graduate student, Dr. Jones investigated the manifestation of a debilitating and involuntary movement disorder called Levodopa Responsive Dystonia and developed an antibody that improves diagnostics. She earned her Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees at Virginia State University. In 2017, she became the first African American to earn her Ph.D. from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Florida State University.
Dr. Jones enjoys providing students (k-12 and college) with STEM resources and programs that increase STEM career exposure by eliminating the barriers that contribute to the lack of diversity in STEM careers and academic programs. She creates several initiatives that allow students to meet diverse STEM leaders and participate in fun hands-on activities. Dr. Jones is also a volunteer writer and program host for AWIS (Association for Women in Science), a Black Women PhDs Ambassador and an AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) IF/THEN Ambassador. She serves as a national mentor and keynote speaker while encouraging young girls to pursue STEM careers during her features on CBS show Mission Unstoppable, WUSA9 Great Day Washington, WTOP Radio and more. In honor of their contributions to STEM, Dr. Jones and 124 other AAAS IF/THEN ambassadors have statues that are featured within the If/Then She Can Exhibit. Dr. Jones has earned a myriad of awards for her efforts in STEM education and advocacy for diversity in STEM.