LSUHSC’S JACOB ONLY LOUISIANIAN SELECTED BY NATIONAL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
New Orleans, LA – Jean T. Jacob, PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Research Development at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, is one of 53 women and the only Louisianian selected for the 2009-10 class of fellows in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine. ELAM is the only national program dedicated to preparing senior women faculty for leadership at academic health centers. The new fellows, characterized as academic health’s most promising women leaders, represent 49 medical, dental, and public health schools.
During their year with ELAM, fellows gain a broader and deeper knowledge of the challenges facing academic health centers through meetings with national leaders in the field, interactions with peers in the program, and interviews with a wide range of senior officers at their own institutions. Fellows also undertake a long-term project that addresses an institutional need or goal while providing an opportunity for leadership and greater visibility. ELAM’s mission is to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions, to change the culture of academic health centers to become more inclusive of different perspectives and more responsive to changing social agendas.
Dr. Jacob also serves as Director of Research at the LSU Eye Center. As Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, she has continuously secured funding from both the NIH and private corporations to support her research projects and nine member laboratory team. Dr. Jacob is a biomedical polymer scientist whose research interests focus on the biocompatibility of synthetic and bio-polymers in the eye. This involves analyzing the polymer surface and the adjacent tissue on a submicroscopic level for chemical changes in the polymer, protein deposits, chemical changes in the structure of cells next to the polymer and quantitative changes in the composition of the adjacent tissue.
Dr. Jacob’s investigation into the biocompatibility response around implants in the eye has led to improvements in several basic implant designs (artificial cornea, total eye replacement devices, reinforcement membranes, and glaucoma drains). Her work has also led to the identification of ways to alter the conformation of the implant surface to increase cellular infiltration and improve implant stabilization. Dr. Jacob holds six patents.
Her current research projects include dry eye modeling and analysis of tear components, contact lens materials/wear analysis and testing, development and testing of biodegradable nerve guides for the enhanced regeneration of nerves after injury, and developing methods to promote better adhesion to biomaterials.
Besides her own research, Dr. Jacob has mentored more than 66 residents, postdoctoral fellows, and medical, graduate, and senior undergraduate students. She also mentored two Junior Principal Investigators on Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) and Louisiana Biomedical Research Network (LaBRN) center grants over the last 4 years. Additionally, she has served as both a permanent and ad hoc reviewer for three different study sections at the National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute over a17-year period. She has also chaired and served on numerous committees at all three levels of the Health Sciences Center (Department, School of Medicine, and Health Sciences Center) including serving as the LSUHSC Faculty Senate President.
Dr. Jacob is Vice President of the International Society of Contact Lens Research and has chaired annual international symposia for the Symposium on the Material Science and Chemistry of Contact Lenses as well as the annual meeting of the Society for Biomaterials. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Controlled Release Society, and the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society.
After earning her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Riverside, she completed her PhD in Biomedical Polymer Science at Tulane University. Dr. Jacob joined the faculty of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans in 1989.
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