About Me

The field of cancer research is one that has grown and expanded significantly during the past 2 decades, providing new diagnostic and treatment strategies for diseases and illnesses that previously did not have very many options. Dr. Samson Jacob’s research team contributed significantly to this effort. He has been regarded as a pioneer in this field for many years, leading a wide variety of research projects that have focused on different areas pertaining to liver cancer and some types of leukemia, particularly chronic lymphocytic leukemia. 

Growing up, he knew he wanted to be involved in the field of medicine, but he also knew that this would take a tremendous amount of time and effort. He worked hard and took key leadership roles at some of the top universities in the country. He knew that he wanted to have a very diverse career, so he decided to continue to pursue his goal of becoming a researcher and also take up a teaching career at the same time in medical school teaching. 

Dr. Jacob began his teaching and research career at MIT after his post-doctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. He has been passionate about research ever since. He realized at the very outset that he needed to work doubly hard to make meaningful contributions to science. 

After becoming an Assistant Professor at MIT in 1969, he received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant in 1970, followed by a Damon Runyon Foundation research grant, a highly competitive award at that time. For 50 years of his career, Dr. Jacob held at least one federal grant. In 1972, he joined Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine as an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and was promoted within four years to the rank of tenured Professor. After serving Penn State for 18 years, Dr. Jacob accepted the position of Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Biology at the Chicago Medical School (currently part of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science). Dr. Jacob became Chair of the Department of Medical Biochemistry at Ohio State University College of Medicine (now known as Wexner Medical Center) in Columbus, Ohio (OSU) in 1996. He was a devoted faculty member at OSU and served the university for 20 years in different capacities, including co-director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program and inaugural director of the Intramural Research Program of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. The department's NIH ranking went up by almost 20 points because of his work, and he got the department's first large program project grant as the department's principal investigator. 

Dr. Jacob had a long and distinguished career as a tenured, endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Medical Biochemistry (renamed Biological Chemistry and Pharmacology). During his tenure with OSU, Dr. Jacob did everything within his power to raise the standard of the department, to recruit highly successful faculty, to increase the research funding in the College of Medicine, and to train and mentor students, postdoctoral fellows, and clinical oncology fellows. Dr. Jacob has trained 16 graduate students (PhD degree), 32 post-doctoral fellows, 2 undergraduates, and 1 clinical oncology fellow. Many of them hold faculty positions (including full professorships) at major universities in the USA and abroad. Many of them have won major awards for their own scientific accomplishments. This success serves as a testament to Dr. Jacob’s guidance, teaching, and mentorship throughout the decades. Dr. Jacob has won many notable awards and honors during his career. At the same time, it was very important to Dr. Jacob that his students and post-doctoral trainees win their own accolades. 

In particular, Dr. Jacob’s research focuses on transcriptional and epigenetic regulation, particularly in hepatocellular carcinogenesis and leukemia, specifically in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). His research, some of which was carried out in collaboration with other research teams, has provided strategies for the development of potentially novel strategies in diagnosis and treatment options. His work has been published in a wide variety of esteemed journals. A few of the many journals in which he has published his work include Nature, Cancer Research, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Molecular Cancer Research, Leukemia, Nature, Science, and Oncogene. 

While at OSU, Dr. Jacob published 55 papers, many of them representing seminal findings in the field, which have been confirmed in other laboratories, for a total of 210 papers during his career, many of them seminal and highly-cited papers.

Even though Dr. Jacob has dedicated himself to research into different types of cancer and made fundamentally significant contributions, he has not forgotten about his roots or where he has come from. That is why he continues to spend time helping others who want to follow in his footsteps, helping them become successful researchers as well. He also believes that it is important to maintain a solid work-life balance, and that is why he spends a significant amount of time with his family members and friends. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors and tries to stay in touch with many colleagues and scientists in his field of expertise and those closest to him. 

Overall, Dr. Jacob is leaving behind a powerful legacy He has also served as an example for numerous others, both in and out of the medical field, who also want to leave their mark. It will be interesting to see where his life goes next.


Samson T. Jacob Portfolio