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Women in Medicine and Science at Upstate

This guide provides information on female pioneers associated with Upstate and its predecessor institutions who left lasting impacts on medicine and science. Please check back regularly as we will continue to add influential women to this guide.

Ellen Cook Jacobsen MD

Ellen Cook Jacobsen MD, also known as “Cookie”, was born in 1919 in Painted Post, N.Y. Ellen attended thBlack and white portrait of Ellen Townley Cooke Knox School for Girls in Cooperstown, N.Y and completed her undergraduate training and her Master of Science degree at Cornell University. She went on to attend the Syracuse University College of Medicine and graduated in 1950. In 1954, Dr. Jacobsen became the first female instructor in the Department of Medicine at SUNY Upstate. She established the Student Health Service at Upstate in 1955 and the first Employee Health Service a decade later. Dr. Jacobsen felt strongly that physicians should have formal training in counseling and she took a leave of absence from the faculty in 1968 to complete a residency in psychiatry.

In 1971, she rejoined the faculty with appointments to both the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry. She was the only faculty member at that time to hold dual appointments. Dr. Jacobsen was uniquely suited to head the Liaison and Consultation Service for Psychiatry, which interfaced between that department and all other clinical services in University Hospital to improve patient care, a position she was appointed to in 1972. She also served on the Admissions Committee and Student AffairsBlack and white portrait of Ellen Cook Jacobsen, wearing pearls Committee helping women gain fairer treatment and access to medical school. Ellen was often referred to as the “Matriarch of Upstate” as she served in many influential roles on campus including educator, clinician, and advisor.

In 1990, Dr. Jacobsen retired from Upstate. She was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award by the Upstate Alumni Association in 1990; the Onondaga County Medical Society Community Service Award in 1991; the SUNY Upstate President’s Award for Distinguished Service in 1998; and was named to the SUNY Alumni Honor Roll in 1999. The Medical Alumni Foundation established the Ellen Cook Jacobsen Psychiatry Fellowship in recognition of her many contributions to education. Dr. Jacobsen passed away in Cazenovia, N.Y. in 2013.  In 2014, the lobby outside the Medical Alumni Auditorium in Weiskotten Hall was re-named for Dr. Jacobsen and her husband Carlyle F. Jacobsen, who was the first president of SUNY Upstate.

Resources on Ellen Cook Jacobsen MD

1. Biographical Information on Ellen Cook Jacobsen MD:

        Syracuse Post Standard - September 1, 2013


2. Other Information Related to Ellen Cook Jacobsen MD:

      Information on Ellen Cook Jacobsen MD Fellowship in Psychiatry at Upstate

Bibliography - Publications

1. Cook, E.T. & Dye, J.A.  Diabetes in the Calf, Federation Proceedings, 4:14, 1945.

2. Cook, E.T., Dye, J.A., & McCandless, E.L.  Pancreatic Diabetes in the Calf.  Am. J. Physiology, 156: 349-354, 1949.

3. Bunn, P.A. & Cook, E.T.  Treatment of Pneumococcal Pneumonia with Erythromycin & Carbomycin.  Arc. Int. Med., 92: 333-340, 1953.

4. Bunn, P.A. & Cook, E.T.  Treatment of Subacute Bacterial Endocarditis.  Ann. Int. Med. 41:  487-500, 1954.

5. Auchincloss, J.H., Cook, E.T., & Fenzetti, A.D.  Clinical and Physiological Aspects of a Case of Obesity, Polycythemia and Aluealar Hypo-Ventilation.  J.C.I.  34:  1537-1545,  1955.

6. Cook, E.T., G.L. Eastman & P.A. Bunn.  The Use of Novobiocin in the Management of Acute Pneumococcal & Staphylococcal Infections.  Antibiotics Annual, 1956-57, pp. 396-401.

7. A Clinical Study of Anticoagulants in Acute Myocardial Infarction with Particular Reference to Early Heparin Therapy. By G.L. Eastman, M.D.; E.T. Cook, M.D.; E.T. Shinn, M.D.; R.E. Dutton, M.D.; Richard H. Lyons, M.D.  Am. J. Med. SCI, 1967, 233:6, pp. 647, June 1957.

8. Vascular Reactivity in Medical Students Followed for 10 Years. R.H. Eich, M.D. & E.C. Jacobsen, M.D. J. Chron. Dis., 1967, V. 20, pp. 583-592.

9. Report on Student Health Services, SUNY 1968 (unpublished).