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Eric J. Jacobs, PhD

Strategic Director, Pharmacoepidemiology


Eric J. Jacobs, PhD is a cancer epidemiologist and strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology at the American Cancer Society. He conducts original research, primarily within the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Studies, and provides scientific expertise in his areas of research to American Cancer Society staff, other scientists, and, through the media, to the general public.

Jacobs’ research interests focus on the health effects of aspirin use, tobacco, and obesity, and the epidemiology of prostate, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer. Since the mid-2000s, he has published several scientific reports from the Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-II on the relationship between aspirin use and potential reductions in risk of some types of cancer. Jacobs’ more recent research has included documenting the continuing impact of smoking on cancer and other diseases in the contemporary United States. In 2013, Jacobs led epidemiologic analyses of the relationships between smoking and various causes of death that were used to generate the widely cited government estimate, published in a 2014 report of the U.S. Surgeon General, that cigarettes causes over 480,000 deaths in the United States each year.

Jacobs serves as a as a scientific peer reviewer for numerous biomedical and public health journals, and as a member of a National Cancer Institute panel that reviews requests for use of biospecimens collected by the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. He also is an adjunct faculty member at the Emory University School of Public Health.

Prior to joining the American Cancer Society in 1996, Jacobs worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and at a Washington D.C. consulting firm specializing in environmental toxicology and epidemiology.

Jacobs has authored or coauthored over 150 peer-reviewed original research publications, as well as several invited commentaries and reviews.

• PhD, Epidemiology, University of Washington, 1996
• MS, Epidemiology, University of Washington, 1993