Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob

Distinguished Service Professor of Nursing
Professor of Psychology, Epidemiology, and Occupational Therapy
Office of the Dean
School of Nursing
350 Victoria Building
3500 Victoria Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

F: 412-624-2401


Dr. Dunbar-Jacob is a nurse/psychologist who has been involved in the study of patient adherence to treatment in individual studies and multi-center trials, addressing a variety of patient populations including rheumatological conditions, cardiovascular risk factors, and diabetes.

She was recently, the principal investigator of the NIH study, Adherence & HRQOL: Translation of Interventions NIH NINR P01NR010949, a program project grant funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research that addresses clinical research studies designed to improve quality of life and delay or slow the progression of chronic conditions through the examination of self-management strategies which target adherence to treatment regimen, thus improving the effectiveness of care, and factors necessary for translation of the research into practice. Her past research includes director and principal investigator of the Center for Research in Chronic Disorders (NIH NINR P30-NR003924), and principal investigator for the grant, Improving Medication Adherence in Comorbid Conditions (NIH NIDDK R01-DK59048), as well as grant from National Science Foundation designed to develop robotic assistance for the elderly, known as "Nursebot." [NSF IIS-0085796]. She has had funding from seven of the Institutes in the NIH, and she has experience in the behavioral science aspects of clinical trial management including the Lipid Research Clinics Program, the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial and the Women’s Health Initiative.

She has served on three NIH safety and data monitoring boards; as a behavioral scientist for three NIH funded multi-center clinical trials; and on 20 NIH working groups addressing research agenda. She served on the NIH Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease Consensus Panel and as a member of the technical expert panel for the AHRQ comparative effectiveness project on adherence interventions. She has served on the NINR Advisory Council, as chair of the NIH Roadmap PROMIS initiative and as a reviewer for the NINR, NHLBI, and NIDDK and on the search committees for the director of the NINR and the director of the OBSSR. She has over 130 papers and chapters, primarily focusing on patient adherence.   

She also was the first director of the School of Nursing’s Center for Research and Evaluation, from 1987 to 1996.

Her work has been recognized with the Univ. of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award, Pennsylvania Nightingale Award for research, the Pathfinders Award for research by the Friends of the NINR, and her induction into the Sigma Theta Tau International Inaugural Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.


Since 1984, she has been a member of the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. Her teaching is primarily at the doctoral level, and she serves as an advisor to a number of doctoral students.


Dr. Dunbar-Jacob recently served on the NIDDK Safety and Data Monitoring Board of the Diabetes Prevention Trial. She was chair of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Task Force on the Future Research Focused Doctorate. She is a member of the UPMC Quality Patient Care committee and the UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Quality Patient Care Committee. She is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse fellows program, as well as past president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. Additionally, she has also served on the Boards of the American Academy of Nursing and the Society for Clinical Trials, and chaired national committees for the American Psychological Association health psychology division, and the American Heart Association, and the NINR National Advisory Council for Nursing Research.  She was named in 2015 as one of the 30 most influential nursing deans.