Myron Jacobson, Ph.D.
Myron Jacobson is the former Founding Dean of the University of North Texas College of Pharmacy. Prior to his role as Dean, Jacobson held faculty positions at the University of North Texas, the University of North Texas Health Science Center, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Arizona. He is also the co-founder of Niadyne, Inc., currently a family of three companies involved in the development of nicotinic acid derivatives for the prevention and treatment of dermatology conditions.
Jacobson’s research, in collaboration with Dr. Elaine Jacobson, has focused on understanding the roles of vitamin B3 and vitamin B3 derived molecules in human health with a focus on treatment and prevention of cancer. Their research in this area was continuously funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health for 38 years and led to more than 150 published papers and invited book chapters and more than 30 patent applications. Progressive loss of genomic integrity is a hallmark of cancer development and the involvement of the bioactive form of vitamin B3, NAD, in the maintenance of genomic integrity has been a major focus of the research. Their discovery that DNA damaging agents result in immediate and dramatic elevation of ADP-ribose polymers levels opened a line of investigation that led to the discovery of the involvement of ADP-ribose polymer metabolism in DNA repair and programmed cell death and the clinical development of inhibitors of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARP inhibitors) as cancer therapeutic agents. The discovery that tumor but not normal tissue of BRCA heterozygotes is extremely sensitive to the killing effects of PARP inhibitors has contributed to a new paradigm for less toxic treatment and possible prophylaxis of BRCA cancers. In the late 1990s, their efforts to translate knowledge of vitamin B3 function has involved the development of topical derivatives of the nicotinic acid form of vitamin B3 focused on actinic skin damage. This work led to the discovery of a G-protein coupled nicotinic acid receptor involved in epidermal differentiation, providing the rationale for repairing differentiation defects in actinic skin damage toward an indication for prevention of actinic keratosis lesions and squamous cell cancers of the skin. Since multiple dermatology conditions involve defects in epidermal differentiation, these agents also have found other application in dermatology.
Jacobson has been involved in Pharm.D., Ph.D., and postdoctoral education in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences for more than 20 years. His teaching efforts in PharmD programs have focused mainly on biochemistry and medicinal chemistry. Jacobson has also been active in the development of active learning strategies and development of clinical problem-solving workshops. Jacobson received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Kansas State University. He completed postdoctoral training at the University of Utah and the Mayo Clinic.