LA JOLLA, CA- The La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) is pleased to announce that Geneviève Tremblay Jacobs has been elected to its Board of Directors. “Geneviève’s commitment to the wellbeing of others-as a businesswoman, scientist, teacher and mentor-has been the cornerstone of her life,” says Dr. Mitchell Kronenberg, the Institute’s president and chief scientific officer. “She will undoubtedly bring the same enthusiasm and drive to the Institute’s board. We couldn’t ask for a better mix of talent and passion and are delighted that she decided to join our mission.”
There are few things in life more important to Geneviève Tremblay Jacobs than the health of her family and helping others who face steep medical challenges. That is why she recently-and eagerly-accepted an invitation to become the newest board member of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, whose goal as a scientific organization is “Life Without Disease.”
Tremblay Jacobs is particularly thrilled about the opportunity to contribute to the Institute’s work because she personally has seen the devastating impact some of the diseases the Institute studies can have on a family. Her mother is waging a brave battle with uterine cancer, her father suffers from the autoimmune disease vasculitis, a serious inflammation of the blood vessels, and she has only recently begun to regain her own health after a long struggle with autoimmune disorders.
“We’re no different than the countless other families who are facing similar health issues,” Tremblay Jacobs says. “It’s just that my involvement with La Jolla Institute has suddenly given me an entirely new perspective and hope for the future. I’ve been fascinated by science my whole life, so meeting the Institute’s brilliant and dedicated scientists and hearing about the incredible scope of their research has been really exciting. I learned that the Institute is truly on a unique path that is transforming the way we diagnose and treat disease.”
Interestingly, in Tremblay Jacobs’ wide-ranging education and career, science and health-along with a talent for business-have been constants. Born and raised in Montreal, she served as a medic in the Canadian army for three years before entering Concordia University in Montreal where she studied physical geography. She then became fascinated with the ocean and majored in marine science at the Université du Québec à Rimouski. While there she worked as an oceanographer in Italy on the Corilla Project in the Venice lagoon.
In hopes of becoming a teacher, she pursued a degree in education from the University of Ottawa, then taught elementary and high school in Ontario. Eventually, Tremblay Jacobs found her way into pharmaceutical sales where she discovered she could combine her love of business with her interest in science by helping provide Canadian doctors with drugs that would help their patients. In just three years as a representative for Warner Chilcott, she became one of the company’s highest-performing employees.
Tremblay Jacobs would likely still be there had it not been for a fateful day at the Grand Prix Montreal when she met an American businessman. She had no idea the man was Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm, one of the world’s biggest and most important telecommunications companies. The two would ultimately marry, and today are the proud parents of a two-year-old daughter.
Although her life has changed significantly, Tremblay Jacobs, who divides her time between La Jolla and Montreal, remains the same energetic and down-to-earth person she has always been. If anything her passions for the environment, human rights, children, and education are stronger than ever, and her new life has given her a more global perspective on the importance of those causes. And as always, science and health will continue as priorities in her life.
“I’m honored to serve on the La Jolla Institute board and my primary goal will be to help spread awareness so that as many people as possible understand-and support, if possible-the phenomenal science these wonderful investigators are conducting,” Tremblay Jacobs says. “I’m hopeful that one day soon, research will demystify the immune system and that millions of people will finally stop suffering from autoimmune disease and cancer.”
About La Jolla Institute for Immunology
The La Jolla Institute for Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading toward its goal: life without disease.