She was one of the United States first reproductive endocrinologists. She is best known for her work with in vitro fertilization, but is also credited with numerous other discoveries, one of which allowed women, with a history of miscarriages, to carry their children full term and has also authored over 350 scientific papers on reproduction.
As a resident at Johns Hopkin's she discovered that the pregnancy hormone hCG was manufactured by the placenta, not the pituitary gland as originally thought. This discovery has led the development of many of the early over-the-counter pregnancy test kits currently available. Dr. Jones is also credited with using progesterone to treat women with a history of miscarriages, thus allowing many of them to not only conceive, but deliver healthy babies.
Shortly after their arrival in Virginia, the world was shocked by the announcement of the world's first in vitro fertilization birth in 1978 by a British team of doctors and scientists.
Dr. Jones and her husband began work on the first IVF project in the United States, funded primarily by a $5000 grant. On December 28, 1981, their work culminated in the first US IVF birth; the third IVF birth in the world but importantly the first to use controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. The birth of Elizabeth Carr, the first American "test tube baby" helped change the lives of many women who, prior to IVF were unable to conceive.