College of Medicine Women Shaping UCF History

Released on 03.08.2019

Three College of Medicine faculty are among 31 women being honored by UCF during March, Women’s History Month. The honor recognizes women who have helped shape the university from its beginnings until today.
“It’s an honor to work among such amazing and accomplished women faculty,” says Jana L. Jasinski, vice provost for Faculty Excellence. “For this month, let’s remember and celebrate how this group of women are making a difference on this campus and in the community.”


This year’s College of Medicine honorees are:

Dr. Melanie Coathup, Professor of Medicine

Dr. Melanie Coathup, an internationally recognized specialist in bone regeneration and implant design, joined UCF in 2017 to lead the university’s new Prosthetic Interfaces faculty research cluster.

Before joining UCF, Dr. Coathup was a professor and researcher at University College London’s Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, serving as head of the Centre for Cell and Tissue Research. Her research has led to new implant designs to replace bone lost to cancer, and the development of a new kind of synthetic bone material to help patients with skeletal injuries regenerate their tissue for a speedier recovery.

“I’m truly inspired to receive this award honoring the important role that women play in the sciences,” Dr. Coathup said. “Many women have come before me and made it possible for a woman like myself to even attempt to make a difference and for that I’m truly grateful. My goal now is to keep on encouraging and inspiring future generations and I look forward to celebrating their success.”

UCF honored Dr. Coathup for her “over and above enthusiasm” for building the cluster, hiring diverse faculty members and collaborating with faculty outside her department, and doctors at area hospitals.


Dr. Kelli King-Morris, Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dr. Kelli King-Morris joined the College of Medicine in 2013 and currently serves as the associate program director for UCF’s Internal Medicine Residency program. Dr. King-Morris is board certified in internal medicine and cares for patients at the Orlando VA Medical Center.

She began her medical career at the University of South Florida College of Medicine and completed her residency at Vanderbilt University, where she also completed a clinical and research fellowship in nephrology.

UCF honored Dr. King-Morris as a “driving force” in creating the medical school’s first residency program in 2014 in a partnership with Osceola Regional Medical Center and the Orlando VA. She develops curricula and simulation sessions, including mock codes and procedure trainings, and is credited with a “creative mind that conjures solutions and processes that benefit all involved.”





Jessica Wilson, Instructor, Biomedical Sciences
Jessica Wilson joined UCF in 2015 as an instructor at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, where she runs laboratories for general, pathological and clinical microbiology.

“I’m really honored to have been nominated and selected as an awardee,” Wilson said. “My career is relatively short, so it means a lot that in the 4½ years I’ve been here, I’ve been able to make an impact.”

Wilson received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biological sciences from Mississippi State University. There, she studied a novel probiotic and its role in preventing infections.

“I have always been curious so I was naturally drawn to STEM subjects,” Wilson said. “I discovered research as an undergraduate and never looked back. When I began graduate school, I never envisioned teaching in a STEM field (or teaching in general), but now I can’t imagine anything I’d rather do.”

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