In 2011, Jes graduated from Concord University in West Virginia with a B.S. in Chemistry. Moving next to North Carolina to attend Wake Forest University and work in the lab of W. Todd Lowther, she received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2016. Her thesis work, which was supported by a predoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association, focused on basic, structural biology-based insights into peroxiredoxin hyperoxidation. Immediately following graduation, Jes moved to the lab of Richard Loeser, Director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, to get more training and skill in translational/clinical research directly related to redox-related disease. Her work during that period focused on thiol biochemistry in the context of cell signaling cascades related to osteoarthritis pathogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. Jes eagerly joins the Messens' group to apply and expand her skills as a crystallographer and redox biochemist, this time also on plant systems.