Prof discusses recent research at gathering of NATO scientists in Bulgaria

York Professor Ira Jacobs, chair of York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science in the Faculty of Health, will discuss how recent research could help military personnel placed in environmentally stressful situations when he delivers a keynote lecture to a gathering of NATO scientists in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Monday.

Jacobs will present “Human Science Advances: Potential Applications for Military Operations” at a NATO Human Factors & Medicine Panel symposium, comprised of NATO scientists. His talk will focus on recent new knowledge in behavioural and physiological sciences, which could be used to protect, train and sustain cognitive and physical performance of military personnel who are challenged by extreme environmental stress. 

Right: Ira Jacobs

Prior to joining York two years ago, Jacobs had a 25-year career as a defence scientist conducting human physiology research. In addition, he was the chief scientist at Defence Research & Development Canada-Toronto, a multidisciplinary human sciences research establishment operated by the Canadian Department of National Defence.

“I still have a very strong interest in research that might be used to enhance the performance and protect the lives of those who are putting their lives on the line at the request of our government,” says Jacobs. “Being close to the cutting-edge research of our faculty members in North America’s largest and most diverse multidisciplinary School of Kinesiology & Health Science provides some very stimulating food for thought in that regard.”

Based on his experiences working for government and academia, Jacobs says he also intends to recommend that the Canadian government should embed government-funded defence research centres of excellence on university campuses rather than the current model of isolated defence research laboratories.

Jacobs is an adviser to the Canadian Space Agency, current president of the Canadian Council of University Physical Education & Kinesiology Administrators and a former president of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.