Jewel Plummer Cobbbiologist, physiologist
Birthplace: Chicago, Ill.
Jewel Plummer Cobb has had wide-ranging influence in the sciences. Awarded a Ph.D. in cell physiology from New York University in 1950, she has served as a researcher, a college professor and administrator, as well as a staunch supporter for greater minority participation in scientific careers. Much of Cobb's research has been focused on the skin pigment melanin, and her most significant research has been with testing new chemotherapeutic drugs in cancer cells, the impact of which continues. She has held several teaching and administrative positions at major universities. From 1960 to 1969, she was a professor at Sarah Lawrence College. From 1969 to 1976 she served as Dean and Professor of Zoology at Connecticut College. From 1976 to 1981, Cobb served as Dean and Professor of Biology at Douglass College, the women's college at Rutgers University. From 1981 to 1990 Cobb was President of California State University at Fullerton where she spearheaded efforts to increase the quality and diversity of both the student population and the faculty. A supporter of equal access to educational and professional opportunity, Cobb has written often about racial and sexual discrimination in the sciences, and has raised funds to allow more minorities to enter into the field. Since her retirement, Cobb, who was named President and Professor of Biological Science, Emerita at California State University at Fullerton and Trustee Professor at California State University at Los Angeles, has continued her research.