News from the WHI Study


Remembering Dr. Rebecca Jackson

Dear WHI colleagues,

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing yesterday morning of our most valued colleague and friend, Dr. Rebecca Jackson.

Becky was an incredible force for good. At The Ohio State University, she was a Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Associate Dean for Clinical Research, Director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). She was a nationally recognized translational clinician-scientist and leader in women's health research, most notably through her work in the Women's Health Initiative. She held several key WHI leadership positions over the last 25+ years, including Member and former Chair of the Steering Committee, Chair of the Scientific Resources Working Group and founder of the Genetics Scientific Interest Group, in addition to being the Principal Investigator of the WHI Clinical/Field/Regional Center at OSU. She collaborated widely, promoting the best of science, often with little direct reward for herself.

She also led work on the HEALing Communities Study, a $65.0 million federal research grant aimed at reducing opioid deaths by 40% within three years. She served as a multi-Pi on a $5 million NIH grant to support projects designed to rapidly implement COVID-19 testing strategies in populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic. As the founding director of the CCTS, Becky led the programmatic functions, operations and strategic planning for the center in successful development and integration of clinical and translational research infrastructure at OSU.

Becky received many awards and recognition for her impressive body of work. In 2008 she was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also received The Ohio State University Distinguished Scholar Award, one of the university's highest honors.

Her sound scientific judgement, remarkable energy, and profound humanity made her an inspiration to all who had the privilege of working with her. She was a creative, knowledgeable and insightful scientist and physician who saw opportunities, exuded optimism, and promoted collaborations. Her contributions to discussion were always thoughtful, respectful and often brave in adding a novel perspective or countervailing argument. She was a brilliant, compassionate, kind and generous leader and mentor to many. Her absence in the WHI will be tremendously felt.

We offer our sincerest condolences to her husband, Jerry, and their children, Alex and Natalie, and to her beloved Buckeyes, for whom she served as the number one fan and supporter. They will miss her almost as much as we will.

Dr. Rebecca Jackson's obituary can be found here.

Donations can be sent to the newly established Dr. Becky Jackson Memorial Fund via this link

If you would like to send a card to her family please reach out to

We will provide updates on any memorial activities as they become available.