Delving into microbiology due to an inherent interest in the field during her undergraduate years at Radcliffe College, Dr. Diane Margaret Jacobs is a venerated figure in the education industry who amassed 49 years in her field. Beginning her career as a lecturer and instructor at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in 1967, she then served the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, for two years as a research associate. From 1976 to 1989, she was an associate professor and full professor of microbiology at the State University of New York at Buffalo before transferring to East Carolina University, where she served the following five years as a professor of biology, dean of the Graduate School, and associate vice chancellor of research.
In 1994, Dr. Jacobs began her tenure at the University of Central Florida, where she served as vice president for research and graduate studies while simultaneously acting as a professor of molecular biology and microbiology. Granted emerita status in 2016, she also sat as chair of the Department of Health Professions for six years during her tenure. In retirement, Dr. Jacobs continues to serve as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and she is a past member of the board of directors of the Central Florida Innovation Corporation.
Drawing upon a Bachelor of Arts from Radcliffe College and PhD from the prestigious Harvard University, Dr. Jacobs has witnessed the progression of her industry over the decades and is pleased to see more women entering and excelling in the field. She notes that although institutions have a difficult time receiving funding in contemporary times, it is more important now than ever before to find like-minded colleagues and an excellent team. Looking back on her career, Dr. Jacobs indicates that one must genuinely love and find passion for their career and personal goals in order to succeed.
A native of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Jacobs was born to Saul Jacobs and Eleanor Rosenberger in 1940. Happily married for many decades to her late husband Michael Shelley, she has three stepchildren. Currently residing in Winter Park, Florida, she enjoys traveling and studying genealogy in her spare time.
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