Professor Ira Jacobs became dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education at the University of Toronto on July 1, 2010, and was re-appointed to his current second decanal term. Before assuming this role, Jacobs was chair of York University’s School of Kinesiology and Health Science from 2007 until 2010, and a federal government scientist from 1982 until 2007.
Jacobs earned his doctorate in clinical physiology from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, where he specialized in skeletal muscle metabolism. For the next 25 years, he did extensive exercise physiology research in Canada’s human sciences laboratory, operated by the Department of National Defence. There, Jacobs rose to the position of chief scientist and led a unique international research group that helped to enhance the performance of military special operations units through their research into physiological, nutritional and pharmacological strategies.
He is a past president of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the Canadian Council of University Physical Education and Kinesiology Administrators. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, an international fellow of the US National Academy of Kinesiology, and in 2016, he was named a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
Jacobs’ research has led to the publication of more than 200 scientific articles, reports and book chapters about his research interests that include the physiological responses to physical exertion in environmental extremes, performance enhancement through pharmacological and nutritional manipulation of metabolism, and exercise pharmacology.
During his term as dean, the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education has been rated as among the top academic programs in the world for kinesiology, physical education, sport and exercise sciences.