Maxine Jonas, PhD



(617) 501-1097
Senior Lecturer



As a biological engineering hands-on teacher, I empower MIT students with technical and communication knowledge to be lifelong curious learners who know where to find rigorous information, who to turn to with questions and collaboration ideas, and what bold challenges to design toward.


Dr. Maxine Jonas is an instructor in the Department of Biological Engineering (BE) at MIT, and one of its alumnae. After undergraduate studies in France, Maxine completed her Ph.D. mentored by Prof. Peter So, designing and optimizing a fluorescence-based microrheometer to quantitatively assess cellular viscoelasticity mechanics with nanometer and microsecond resolutions.  She then worked for seven years in the biotech industry in the Boston area, both in start-up (BioTrove/BIOCIUS) and in large company (Agilent Technologies) environments, conceiving, maturing and manufacturing automated robotics platforms interfaced with mass spectrometers, for applications in the fields of biopharmaceutical drug discovery, clinical research, metabolomics and quantitative proteomics.  Dr. Jonas returned to MIT in 2013, and currently teaches lab-focused instrumentation courses.  She is also a Communication Lab fellow, a Sandbox scientific mentor, and is on the team spearheading the creation of a bio-maker space at MIT.

Publications and Patents

Holt T.G., Wang J., Chen X., Choi B.K., Geoghagen N.S., Jensen K.K., Jonas M., Luo Q., LaMarr W.A., Malkowitz L., Özbal C.C., Xiong Y., Dufresne C., Luo M.J. (2011) Expanding the scope of HTMS methods.  Label-Free Technologies for Drug Discovery, John Wiley & Sons publisher.

Jonas M., LaMarr W.A., Özbal C.C. (2009) Mass spectrometry in high-throughput screening: a case study on acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase using RapidFire-Mass Spectrometry (RF-MS). Combinatorial Chemistry and High Throughput Screening. 12(8):752-9.

Jonas M., So P.T., Huang H. (2008) Cell mechanics at multiple scales. Methods Enzymol. 443:177-98.

Jonas M., Huang H., Kamm R.D., So P.T. (2008) Fast fluorescence laser tracking microrheology II: Quantitative studies of cytoskeletal mechanotransduction. Biophys J 95 (2):895-909. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

Jonas M., Huang H., Kamm R.D., So P.T. (2008) Fast fluorescence laser tracking microrheology I: Instrument development. Biophys J 94 (4):1459-69. Epub 2007 Oct 26.

Jonas M., So P.T. Multi-scale cell mechanics measured by fluorescence laser tracking microrheology. Phys Rev Lett (submitted).

Jonas M., Yao Y., So P.T., Dewey C.F. (2006) Detecting single quantum dot motion with nanometer resolution and application to cell biology. IEEE Transactions in Nanobiosciences 5 (4);246-50.

Huang H., Sylvan J., Jonas M., Barresi R., So P.T., Campbell K.P., Lee R.T. (2005) Cell stiffness and receptors: evidence for cytoskeletal subnetworks. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 288:C72-80.

Özbal C.C., Katz A., Jonas M. Sample injection system. US 8,677,808.

Özbal C.C., Jonas M., LaMarr W.A., Vernikov E. Device and method for coupling mass spectrometry with chromatography systems. US 8,410,426 B2.

Research Areas: