Dr. Ira Jacobs, DrMedSc, FCAHS, FNAK, FACSM


Dr. Jacobs is the inaugural Director of the Tanenbaum Institute for Science in Sport. A tenured professor, he recently completed 11 years as the Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. He previously served as the Chair of the School of Kinesiology & Health Science at York University in Toronto.

Dr. Jacobs has over 25 years of experience as a federal government scientist, having held progressively increasing scientific and executive level appointments within Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC). He received his doctorate from the Department of Clinical Physiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, where he specialized in skeletal muscle metabolism. For the next 25 years he carried out extensive applied human physiology research and was appointed to roles with increasing leadership responsibilities at the Canadian federal government’s human sciences research centre operated by the Department of National Defence, where he attained the position of centre Chief Scientist. During that period, he received scientific research awards for his initiation and leadership of a unique international research group of physiologists and physicians who provided physiological support and advice about physiological, nutritional and pharmacological strategies to sustain and enhance the performance of military personnel. He has published over 200 scientific articles, reports and book chapters about his research interests, which include: performance enhancement through physiological, pharmacological and nutritional manipulation of metabolism, the physiological responses to physical exertion in environmental extremes, and energy metabolism.

He is a past President of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, and was awarded its highest award for his career research achievements. He is an inducted Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the US National Academy of Kinesiology. He received the Canadian Peacekeeping Service medal from the Government of Canada for his work as a United Nations biological weapons inspector 1995-1998.

His senior leadership roles have been in the government, academic and business/industrial sectors and have included managerial, administrative, and fiduciary responsibilities and accountabilities for large numbers of scientific, technical, administrative, and academic staff. He has also applied his expertise and knowledge in human physiology as a consultant to private, Canadian, and international government agencies.