Distinguished Scientist: Jesse Bell, PhD

Jesse Bell, PhD

Jesse Bell, PhD

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC’s 2020 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Jesse Bell, PhD
  • Title: Claire M. Hubbard Professor of Health and Environment, UNMC Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health, College of Public Health
  • Joined UNMC: 2018
  • Hometown: Bloomfield, Nebraska

The Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist Award, sponsored by UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

Research focus:

  • Environmental change and health

The goal of my research is: to understand how changes in the environment impact human health.

My research will make a difference because: our environment is changing, and these changes are impacting our health. For example, we are facing environmental degradation and climate change. It is critical to understand these challenges, so that we can better prepare our communities and reduce negative outcomes.

The best advice I’ve ever been given is:
I’ve been very fortunate to hear wonderful advice from numerous people. To pick the best advice is an incredibly challenging task, so I will pick the first piece of advice that really stuck with me. As a high schooler, I went to a program that was coordinated by a college football coach. I don’t remember what the program was about or who put it on, but I do remember a couple sentences from that day. This coach addressed the audience and said, “If I knock you off your chair, there is little you can do to stop it. However, if you are still on the ground tomorrow, then that’s on you.” He was a fairly large and intimidating man, and I remember pondering that the force of his blow might leave me incapacitated for more than a day. Once I got past this, I found deeper meaning in those words. In life, there are many moments that you can’t control. You either let these moments hold you back or you don’t. The key to success is to recover from difficult situations and be better for it.

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • I am from Bloomfield, Nebraska.
  • I have lived in Thailand and China.
  • I have had some interesting jobs. These have included taking federal inmates out for their work duty, wildland firefighting and building hog barns.


  1. Tom O’Connor says:

    Congrats Jesse. Nice to see your outstanding work get the recognition it deserves. Keep it going!

  2. Jaclyn Ostronic says:


  3. Karla Holmlund says:

    Congratulations Jesse!

  4. Moses New-Aaron says:


  5. Rich & Melva Ermels says:

    What a great honor!! Congratulations!!

  6. Kevin Millikan says:

    Congratulations Jesse from back home!!!!

  7. Valerie Key says:

    So proud of you,Jesse!

  8. Rhonda Arens Hofer says:

    Congratulations Jesse! I’m proud to say I knew you years ago in Elementary PE class…and now look at you! Best Wishes.
    Mrs. Hofer (now Mrs. Arens)

  9. Jon strom says:

    A classmate and personal friend of mine…Proud of your accomplishments Jesse🤝

  10. Kusum K Kharbanda says:

    Congratulations Jesse!

  11. Carolyn Vesely says:

    Congratulations Jesse, your work and dedication is very important and appreciated

  12. Scott and Carla Wilson says:

    Congratulations Jesse, what a great accomplishment.

  13. Jolene Greckel says:

    Congratulations, you have made your hometown proud, and your parents. Well deserved.

Comments are closed.