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Susan Lanza-Jacoby, PhD

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Susan Lanza-Jacoby, PhD

It’s been 35 years since the Chair of Surgery at the time, Dr. Francis E. Rosato, Sr., hired Susan Lanza-Jacoby, PhD, to develop a research function within Jefferson’s Department of Surgery. Since then, her lab has been among the first to show that COX2 inhibitors are protective against the development of breast cancer. More recently, it was the first to identify that a 25-percent decrease in daily caloric intake delayed the onset of pancreatic cancer. And despite growing competition for grant dollars, Dr. Jacoby has been able to remain an independent investigator since coming to Jefferson in 1979.

Outside the lab, Dr. Jacoby has been involved in curriculum development and teaching and has served on various College Committees (the Institutional Review Board is among her current appointments). In the mid- to late 1980s, she helped develop a Nutrition Education Program for the medical students, which was integrated into all four years of the medical school curricula. In the following decade, she became involved in the Problem-Based Learning approach, which was used in Jefferson’s Medical Scholars Program.

Most recently, her lab has been building on the prior work on pancreatic cancer – investigating whether an agent that mimics the metabolic effects of calorie restriction will achieve the same cancer prevention effects as restricting food intake.

Dr. Jacoby, who eventually plans to segue into a second career as a nutrition counselor, says she has found great satisfaction in conducting research – delving into scientific problems and discovering new findings that shed light on previously unsolved questions. She has also enjoyed working with students, including numerous surgical residents whom she has mentored – among them, Dr. Ernest (Gary) Rosato, her former boss’ son and current Director of the Division of General Surgery.

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