Dr Kathryn Sarah Jones

PhD (Pharmacology) 2013. BSc Hons (Cell and Molecular Bioscience) 2003. BSc/BCA conjoint (Genetics, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Economics) 2001.

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Professional Teaching Fellow


I am a Teaching Fellow working in the Cell and Molecular pathways in the School of Biological Sciences. My focus is student-centered learning to excite and engage all students into the incredible hidden world inside cells. I use innovations in teaching to increase active learning within my lectures, to build whanaungatanga and to create linkages between our lives and the biology I teach. 

Previously my research focused on understanding gene expression that underlies cell fate. My research aimed to determine key fate modulator genes and pathways and to manipulate these pathways through gene therapy and cell reprogramming to induce neuronal regeneration for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. I made 'mini brains' in the lab from reprogramming human skin, produced viral vectors for gene therapy. I did this to investivat how we can model and treat neurodegenerative dieases through studying human cells in the lab. 

I love biology and have always wanted to share that passion with others, hopefully I can meet you one day and we can talk science together!


Research | Current

I currently perform teaching related research - some of the questions and themes I am interested in are:

  • How well do our students understand metacognition of their learning?
  • How can we use formative feedback better to keep students engaged with their study?
  • Perception vurses reality in student ability to do well in essay-based exam questions
  • Reflections on the journey from TA to GTA within science
  • How can we increase the vaue put on teaching in the University?

Have a look at my SCOPE profile for more information

Teaching | Current

BSc BIOMED Pathway Leader - Cell and Molecular Biomedicine

Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer in BIOSCI 201 Cell and Molecular Biology

Course Co-ordinator for BISOCI 202 Genetics

Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer in BIOSCI 203 Biochemistry

Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer in BIOSCI 204 Principles of Microobiology

Lecturer in BIOSCI 351 Molecular Genetics

Previously taught into BIOSCI 354 Gene Expression and Gene Trasfer, MEDSCI 740 Stem Cells and Transgenesis and MEDSCI 206 Principles of Neuroscience





Postgraduate supervision

I currently co-supervise one PhD student from the Centre from Brain Research, with Prof Bronwen Connor.

I am not looking at taking on any more post graduate students.


School of Biological Sciences Early Career Teaching Award 2018


I am an undergraduate  advisor for second and third year students planning their degrees within the Cell and Molecular, and Genetics pathways within SBS.

I am the SBS study abroad advisor 

Areas of expertise

Cell and molecular biology, neural stem cells and adult neurgenesis, viral vectors and cellular reprogramming. 

Committees/Professional groups/Services

School of Biological Sciences Teaching and Learning Quality Committee

School of Biological Sciences Staff-Student Consultative Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Connor, B., Firmin, E., McCaughey-Chapman, A., Monk, R., Lee, K., Liot, S., ... Jones, K. (2018). Conversion of adult human fibroblasts into neural precursor cells using chemically modified mRNA. HELIYON, 4 (11)10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00918
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46148
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bronwen Connor, Kevin Lee
  • Playne, R., Jones, K. S., & Connor, B. (2018). Generation of dopamine neuronal-like cells from induced neural precursors derived from adult human cells by non-viral expression of lineage factors. Journal of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, 14 (1), P34-P44. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50323
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bronwen Connor
  • Connor, B., Sun, Y., von Hieber, D., Tang, S., Jones, K., & Maucksch, C. (2016). AAV1/2-mediated BDNF gene therapy in a transgenic rat model of Huntington's disease. Gene Therapy, 23, 283-295. 10.1038/gt.2015.113
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/29748
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bronwen Connor
  • Jones, K., & Connor, B. (2016). Adult neurogenesis and in vivo reprogramming: combining strategies for endogenous brain repair. Neural Regeneration Research, 11 (11), 1748-1749. 10.4103/1673-5374.194712
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32421
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bronwen Connor
  • Jones, K. S., & Connor, B. J. (2016). The Effect of Pro-Neurogenic Gene Expression on Adult Subventricular Zone Precursor Cell Recruitment and Fate Determination After Excitotoxic Brain Injury. Journal of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, 12 (1), 25-35. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/29724
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bronwen Connor
  • Jones, K., & Connor, B. (2016). The effect of pro-neurogenic gene expression on adult subventricular zone precursor cell recruitment and fate determination after excitotoxic brain injury. Journal of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, 12 (1), 25-35.
  • Connor, B., Connor, B., Firmin, E., Maucksch, C., Liu, R., Playne, R., ... Dottori, M. (2015). Direct Conversion of Adult Human Fibroblasts into Induced Neural Precursor Cells by Non-Viral Transfection. Protocol Exchange10.1038/protex.2015.034
  • Maucksch, C., Jones, K. S., & Connor, B. (2013). Concise review: The involvement of SOX2 in direct reprogramming of induced neural stem/precursor cells. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 2 (8), 579-583. 10.5966/sctm.2012-0179
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bronwen Connor


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 1, Room 106
New Zealand

Web links