Jewel Plummer Cobb
Jewel Plummer Cobb was born in 1924 in Chicago, Illinois, and completed her undergraduate studies in biology at Talladega College. She earned her M.S. in cell physiology at New York University in 1947 and her Ph.D. in cell physiology at that institution in 1950.
Her scientific research has centered on factors influencing the growth, morphology, and genetic expression of normal and neoplastic pigment cells; on the in vitro growth of mammalian neoplastic cells; and on the changes produced in vitro by chemotherapeutic agents, by hormones, and by other agents known to disrupt cell division.
Her teaching career began in 1945 as a teaching fellow in the biology department of New York University. In 1956, she was appointed Assistant Professor in Research Surgery at that university. From 1960 to 1969, she was Professor of Biology at Sarah Lawrence College. In 1969, she was Professor of Zoology at Connecticut College and was named Dean of that college, a position she held until 1976, when she was named Dean of Douglass College. On leaving that college in 1981, she was named President of California State University at Fullerton, where she remained until 1990. At present she is President and Professor of Biological Science, Emerita, at California State University at Fullerton, and Trustee Professor at California State University, Los Angeles.
Her scientific research and her work in the field of education have been widely recognized. She is the recipient of twenty-one honorary doctorates, among them doctorates from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, Tuskegee University, Northeastern University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Her association with the Marine Biological Laboratory began in 1949, when she was listed as an Independent Investigator. She has been a Member of the Corporation of the MBL since 1972 and is a frequent visitor to Woods Hole.
Dr. Cobb continues to be active in promoting science education programs for minority youth and in promoting the greater representation of women in science. Her most recent award was presented to her in 1993 by the National Science Foundation: the Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to the Advancement of Women and Underrepresented Minorities.