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President and Vice-Chancellor, UNSW Sydney

Professor Ian Jacobs is President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW Australia (the University of New South Wales), a position he has held since February 2015. Professor Jacobs came to Australia from the UK, where he had a distinguished career as a leading researcher in the area of women’s health and cancer and in university leadership.

Immediately prior to joining UNSW he was Vice President and Dean at the University of Manchester and Director of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre.

He was previously at University College London, where he created and led the Institute for Women’s Health, was Research Director of UCL Partners and Dean of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences.

Professor Jacobs qualified at Cambridge University and the Middlesex Hospital, obtained accreditation in obstetrics and gynaecology working at the Royal London Hospital and Rosie Maternity Hospital Cambridge and specialist accreditation as a surgical gynaecological oncologist at Bart’s and The Royal Marsden Hospitals. He was Head of Department of Gynaecological Oncology and then Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Queen Mary University of London from 1996 to 2004 and created and directed the UCL Institute for Women’s Health between 2004 and 2009. He set up and directed the UCL Biomedical Research Centre (2006-2009) and secured NIHR funding for the Centre.

Professor Jacobs is the Principal Investigator for the Cancer Research UK and Eve Appeal funded PROMISE (Prediction of Risk of Ovarian Malignancy Screening and Early Detection) programme and on several large multicentre clinical trials including the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening involving 202,000 participants in 13 collaborating UK centres and the UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening Study. He has an H-Index of 64 and has published more than 200 scientific papers with over 15,000 citations including 8,000 in the last 5 years.

In 2005 Professor Jacobs established the Uganda Women’s Health Initiative, which he still chairs and which conducts a series of projects in Uganda including a cervical screening programme. He has been President of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society (2001-2004) and of the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (2005-2007). He is Medical Advisor to the Eve Appeal charity (also known as the Gynaecology Cancer Research Fund) which he founded in 1985, a Patron of Safehands for Mothers, founder and non-Executive Director of Abcodia Ltd and patent holder of the ROCA (Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm).


  • –present
    President and Vice-Chancellor, UNSW Australia