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UF | College of Medicine - University of Florida
Engage, Innovate, Excel | 2026
College builds network of diversity liaisons from each department
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In the medical field, providing high-quality, personalized and equitable patient care is a top priority. Expanding diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, efforts is one path the University of Florida College of Medicine is taking to help teach the next generation and facilitate the best health care possible.

Under the leadership of Donna M. Parker, M.D., associate dean for diversity and health equity, the college is engaging all its branches with DEI on a structural level by creating a network of faculty diversity liaisons representing and serving every department. The project is part of the diversity, inclusion and health care equity pillar of the college’s strategic plan launched by Dean Colleen Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., in December.

“Many important decisions are made at the departmental level. And so, in keeping with that structure, I thought it was important for departments to each have a representative,” Parker said. “We are not one-size-fits-all. We have a lot of stakeholders who will benefit from this.”

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College of Medicine helps local girls explore careers in health care

During Women in Medicine Month, celebrated annually in September, the UF College of Medicine honors its female health care workers who are passionate about science and their patients.

Earlier this summer, students from the Pace Center for Girls, an all-girls alternative school, and Girls Place, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering young women, took a field trip to the college, gathering in the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building and rotating among stations staffed by college faculty.

The event, hosted by the college’s Women in Medicine and Science advisory board and Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, along with the Medi-Gators Virtual Shadowing Program run through the department of neurology, was designed to inspire the next generation of female physicians and scientists, showing them the breadth of opportunities in health care.

“I hope they get to see how many different career paths there are in medicine,” said Stacy Beal, M.D. ’09, chair of the advisory board for the Women in Medicine and Science group. “They can see that, as women, their opportunities are endless.”

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Department spotlight: Pathology's forensic medicine distance education program allows Gators around the nation to apply medical knowledge to solve crime

The department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine’s forensic medicine distance education program, the first in the world to offer a master’s degree for this discipline that can be completed 100% online, has experienced significant growth as hundreds of students each year complete classes preparing them for careers as medico-legal death investigators, crime scene investigators, medical examiners, coroners or autopsy technicians.

“It offers a lot more flexibility for students, many of whom are working professionals, to get an education in a way that doesn’t disrupt what they’re doing in their 40-hour day job,” said Lerah Sutton, Ph.D., director of the Forensic Medical Education Program and assistant director of the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine.

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Researchers leverage AI to identify sepsis within 12 hours
UF researchers have created and are using a diagnostic tool that leverages AI to identify a patient’s likelihood of developing sepsis — and how severe it will be — as soon as 12 hours after their hospital admission. Research recently published in JAMA Network Open evaluates and describes the tool.
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AI Day for Cancer Research: Sept. 12
This free mini-symposium, hosted in a hybrid format, will focus on integrative approaches to using AI for cancer research. The event is open to UF researchers, faculty, students and trainees.
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State of the College 2022: Year in the Rearview
The College of Medicine community is invited to reflect on collective successes over the past year at the annual State of the College address Sept. 23.
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View strategic plan initiatives dashboard
Track progress of initiatives under the strategic plan’s seven pillars.
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» Kick off football season with an NFL Stadium Tour walking challenge. Registration opens this month, and the challenge will run from Oct. 3-30. Get your steps in and learn about the history of each NFL stadium and its team.
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Dr. Maria Kelly named assistant dean and chief medical officer of UF Health Physicians

As a self-proclaimed “triple Gator,” Maria Kelly, M.D., FAAP, has experienced the UF College of Medicine from the diverse perspectives of a student, resident and faculty member. This deep understanding of all facets of the college’s mission has fittingly prepared Kelly for her new role as the assistant dean and chief medical officer of University of Florida Health Physicians, a position she begins Oct. 1.

“I am fortunate enough to have been at the University of Florida for nearly three decades now, and it feels like home,” she said. “I am excited to expand what I have learned about quality, safety and clinical leadership in pediatrics and apply this skill set to improving our health outcomes and the patient experience for the entire UF Health faculty practice.”

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Recent gift to fund UF pediatric cardiology professorship

The first in his family to graduate from college, Robert Davis Jackson, M.D., was committed to his pediatric cardiology patients and their families. The late physician, who completed residency training at the UF College of Medicine, practiced and taught in a variety of clinics, hospitals and universities throughout the world.

Now, his son has chosen to honor his memory with the creation of the Robert Davis Jackson and Christopher Davis Jackson Memorial Professorship for Pediatric Cardiology at the UF College of Medicine. The generous estate gift will fund a faculty position in the pediatric cardiology division, which has consistently ranked among the top programs in the nation.

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Two College of Medicine professors awarded UF’s highest faculty honor

In recognition of their unparalleled work in medicine and decades of impactful mentorship and discovery, two professors from the College of Medicine were named Distinguished Professors — the highest faculty honor at UF.

Frank Bova, Ph.D., the Albert E. and Birdie W. Einstein Fund professor of computer-assisted stereotactic neurosurgery in the Lillian S. Wells department of neurosurgery, and Sara J. Nixon, Ph.D., chief of addiction research and director of the neurocognitive laboratory in the department of psychiatry, were selected for the honor this year, along with five other faculty across campus. They join just two former Distinguished Professors in the College of Medicine, and Nixon is the first woman among them.

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UF | College of Medicine - University of Florida
Location Dean's Office | Medical Science Building
Phone (352) 273-7500
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