As a doctoral student at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Dr. Jaacks endeavored to understand the healthcare needs of people living with diabetes: from immigrants here in the U.S. to children in Ecuador to adolescents and adults in China. Her dissertation identified key gaps in nutrition education and therapy for type 1 diabetes in Beijing, as well as dietary predictors of cardiometabolic health in this high-risk population. As a Post-doctoral Fellow at Emory, her research focused on improving our understanding of the global drivers of the diabetes epidemic, and was motivated by an interest in the interaction of nutritional and environmental exposures. Observational research largely from high-income countries as well as animal studies suggest that persistent organic pollutants impair glucose regulation, and that antioxidants and other nutrients may be protective against these detrimental effects. She explored the links between pollutants, nutrient status, and cardiometabolic risk with the ultimate goal of informing international agricultural policies and pollution abatement strategies that improve both human and environmental health.