“With the support of many key area legislators, the 82nd Legislature approved a UNT System College of Pharmacy to be supported by all of our campuses,” said UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson. “This new program will be headquartered in Fort Worth. It is also a great benefit that Mike is familiar with the UNT Health Science Center from his prior experience in Fort Worth.”
Jacobson, most recently a professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and a member of the Arizona Cancer Center, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville; a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Kansas State University; and completed postdoctoral research at the University of Utah and at the Mayo Clinic before joining the University of North Texas (formerly North Texas State University) in 1974.
Jacobson joined the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth (UNTHSC) in 1984 and served as acting chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology from 1989 to 1992. In 1992, he was appointed chairman of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutics at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Kentucky. He joined the faculty of the University of Arizona in 2000.
Jacobson’s research, in collaboration with his wife, Elaine Jacobson, Ph.D., has focused on the effect of niacin and niacin-derived molecules on human health. In the late 1990s, their efforts to translate knowledge of niacin function toward clinical applications led to the founding of Niadyne, Inc. Niadyne is currently a family of three biotechnology companies: Niadyne, which currently markets consumer skin care products in multiple distribution channels; Niadyne Pharma, involved in pharmaceutical products for dermatology; and Niadyne Cardiology, involved in cardiovascular health products. With more than 30 years of National Institutes of Health funding, his research has contributed to new skin cancer prevention and treatments.
In 2011, StriVectin skin damage repair products based on technology developed by the Jacobsons received the Skin Sense award from the Skin Cancer Foundation.
UNT Health Science Center Provost Thomas Yorio, Ph.D., said the addition of the new pharmacy program is an important addition to the center’s plan to create a comprehensive health science center, and Jacobson’s appointment is a critical step. “Dr. Jacobson is already hard at work forging strong relationships with all of our schools, and I am proud to have him as the founding dean.”
The UNT System College of Pharmacy is scheduled to matriculate its first class of Doctor of Pharmacy students in 2013. UNT in Denton and UNT Dallas are developing plans to collaborate with the College of Pharmacy and to expand pre-pharmacy undergraduate programs, graduate programs in pharmaceutical sciences, and provide housing for clinical programs in conjunction with hospitals throughout the region. The University of North Texas System comprises three institutions – the University of North Texas, UNT Dallas and the UNT Health Science Center – with a total enrollment of more than 37,000 students. The system’s flagship campus, UNT, is a thriving, student-focused public research university in Denton with a legacy of excellence in a broad range of academic areas. UNT Dallas is the first public university in the city limits of Dallas. The UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth trains physicians and other professionals through its Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine , Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health and School of Health Professions.