Assistant Professor, Anatomy, University of the Incarnate Word
Dr. Jessica M. Ibarra, is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy at the School of Medicine at the University of the Incarnate Word. She holds a doctorate in Cellular and Structural Biology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where she also completed her postdoctoral training. Her research areas included the study of inflammatory factors involved in chronic diseases such as heart failure, arthritis, and diabetes. Additionally, she is interested in medical education, mentoring, and science outreach.
She is an active member of the American Physiological Society (APS) and is currently serving a 3-year term on the Porter Physiology Development and Minority Affairs Committee. She is active in the APS education programs. She served as the 2010-2011 APS K-12 Minority Outreach Fellow, the 2014 Life Science Teaching Resource Community Vision and Change Fellow and 2014 Archive Vision and Change Scholar, and was a 2014-2015 Physiology Education Community of Practice Fellow.
Dr. Ibarra is passionate about conducting science outreach in the San Antonio community and participates annually in Physiology Understanding (PhUn) Week, a national outreach program of the American Physiological Society. During PhUn week she visits K-12 classrooms to conduct hands-on physiology activities and gives students a presentation on the importance of exercise, nutrition, and physiology in their lives.
Volunteers for PhUn week events come from her undergraduate students, graduate students, and from local physiologists. She participates in Career Day, Science Day, Health Week, Red Ribbon Week, and other K-12 events in San Antonio.
Dr. Ibarra started her education as a pre-dental student. Through her interest in dentistry, she became exposed to dental research as an undergraduate student and soon after pursued a dual degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
She completed her Ph.D. in 2009 under the supervision of Dr. Merry Lindsey and a postdoctoral fellowship under the tutelage of Dr. Seema Ahuja at the Long School of Medicine. During her time at UT Health San Antonio, Dr. Ibarra served as a teaching assistant, mentored/trained student in the laboratory, and worked with students in the dental pre-matriculation students of the Dental Hispanic Center of Excellence.
In addition, she won several research poster competitions at the local, national, and international level. Dr. Ibarra’s interest in teaching/education began early in her education/career. As a graduate and postdoctoral student, she pursued various opportunities to gain teaching experience in the lab and in the classroom.
She served as a tutor for the dental students gross anatomy, as a prosector in the medical gross anatomy, and developed a dental boards exam review for histology. Dr. Ibarra continuously seeks ways to improve her teaching by integrating technology and best practices in teaching.