Dr. Gwen Jacobs received her undergraduate training in Human Anatomy and Physiology from UC Berkeley, a Masters Degree in Physiology from UC Davis and her PhD in Neuroscience from SUNY Albany. She was on the faculty at UC Berkeley for 15 years prior to taking her current position at Montana State University where she is a Professor of Neuroscience, Assistant Chief Information Officer and Director of Research Computing. In addition to her faculty role, she directs the Howard Hughes Undergraduate Biology Program (2002 – 2014) and directs research computing initiatives for her campus, promoting the development of sustainable research infrastructure.
Dr. Jacobs maintains an active research program funded by NSF and NIH in three areas of research: systems neuroscience, informatics and cyberinfrastructure. Recently, she led the Lariat Networking project, an effort to upgrade the physical network infrastructure in 6 rural state institutions thereby improving the research competitiveness and collaborative activities of scientists at those institutions. Her current research efforts are focused on developing tools and approaches for data management and informatics including the Yogo Data Management Framework (http://yogo.msu.montana.edu) and the Virtual Observatory and Ecological Informatics System (VOEIS: http://voies.msu.montana.edu).
At the national level she has been engaged in science policy for many years serving on the NSF Biological Sciences Advisory Committee, the NIH National Advisory Research Resources Council and the NSF TeraGrid Science Advisory Board. Currently she chairs the Neuroimaging and Neuroinformatics Study Section at NIH and serves on the Pacific Northwest Gigapop Advisory Board, Internet2 Governance and Nominations Committee, the Research Channel Board, and chairs the Board of Directors for the NSF IPlant Collaborative.
Dr. Jacobs recently took a leave of absence from Montana State University to serve as the Interim Director of Cyberinfrastructure at the University of Hawai’i, working with Dr. David Lassner on information technology initiatives throughout the islands. Starting June 1, 2013, she will become the Director of Cyberinfrastructure of the University of Hawai’i System.