Jessica Jacob

PhD Student Jessica JacobPhD Student

Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunology

Major Advisor: Roy Curtiss III, PhD

Office Location: 2015 SW 16th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32608

(303) 916-9361



MS – Marine Science – Hawaii Pacific University, 2012

BS – Marine Biology – Hawaii Pacific University, 2011

AA – Emphasis on Marine Science; Emphasis on Geographic Information Systems – Colorado Northwestern Community College, 2008

Honors & Awards

  • UF Alumni Fellow
  • Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key International, Alpha Epsilon Lambda (UF)
  • Tri Beta (HPU)
  • Phi Theta Kappa (Colorado Northwestern Community College)
  • Hawaii Pacific University – Trustee’s Graduate Student Scholarship 
  • Colorado Northwestern Community College – Presidential Honors Scholarship

Research Interests

I am a PhD student in the Aquatic Animal Health Program with a passion for understanding and preventing infectious diseases in aquatic and terrestrial mammals. My research includes identifying new diseases, determining the prevalence of diseases in populations, and developing vaccines to prevent diseases. I use a variety of cutting edge techniques to achieve my goals including next generation sequencing, genetic manipulation, and innovative vaccine design and construction techniques. This research is important because it allows us to determine what types of threats are faced by both managed and wild populations. It also allows us to determine which of these diseases need to be mitigated by developing vaccines and which ones can be allowed to run their course.


  • Jacob, J. M., Subramaniam, K., Tu, S. L., Nielsen, O., Tuomi, P. A., Upton, C., Waltzek T. B. (2018). Complete Genome Sequence of a Novel Sea Otterpox Virus. Virus Genes, 54, 756-767.
  • Jacob, J. M., West, K. L., Levine, G., Sanchez, S., & Jensen, B. A. (2016). Initial Characterization of Novel Beaked Whale Morbillivirus in Hawaiian Cetaceans. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 117, 215-227.
  • Sayler, K. A., Subramaniam, K., Jacob, J. M., Leob, J. C., Craft, W. F., Farina, L. L., Stacy, N. I., Moussatche, N., Cook, L., Lednicky, J. A., Wisely, S. M., Waltzek, T. B. (2018). Characterization of Mule Deerpox Virus in Florida White-Tailed Deer Fawns Expands the Known Host and Geographic Range of this Emerging Pathogen. Archives of Virology,
  • Davison, A. J., Nielsen, O., Subramaniam, K., Jacob, J. M., Romero, C. H., Burek-Huntington, K. A., Waltzek T. B. (2017). Genome Sequence of an Alphaherpesvirus from a Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas). Genome Announcements, 5(42), e01100-17.
  • Davison, A. J., Subramaniam, K., Kerr, K., Jacob, J. M., Landrau-Giovannetti, N., Walsh, M. T., Wells, R. S., & Waltzek, T. B. (2017). Genome Sequence of a Gammaherpesvirus from a Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Genome Announcements, 5(31), e00777-17.
  • West, K. L., Levine, G., Jacob, J., Jensen, B., Sanchez, S., Colegrove, K., & Rotstein, D. (2015). Co-infection and Vertical Transmission of Brucella and Morbillivirus in a Neonatal Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Hawaii, USA. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 51(1), 227-232.

About Me

My PhD research is funded by a competitive Graduate School Alumni Fellowship from the University of Florida. I have received multiple awards for Best Student Presentation and Best Student Poster at international conferences and have multiple first author publications for my work studying marine mammal diseases.

As part of both the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Academic Health Center, Veterinary Medicine is dedicated to advancing animal, human and environmental health through teaching, research, extension and patient care.


Boehringer Ingelheim

The Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program offers DVM students an opportunity to gain exposure in biomedical research.


Need animal care? Visit the UF Small Animal and Large Animal Hospitals. From dogs, cats, birds and exotics to horses, cattle, llamas, pigs and many other large farm or food animals, our experienced veterinarian staff is ready to assist.