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UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science

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Congratulations Dr Melanie Coathup

30 June 2017

Mel Coathup

Dr Melanie Coathup was recently offered and has accepted the position of Professor of

Medicine at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA. She has been recruited not just for her research excellence but also for her leadership strengths and will take the position as Cluster lead in ‘Prosthetic Interfaces’. While a big loss for us at UCL it is an indication of our success at nurturing not just research excellence but also leadership.

Dr Melanie Coathup has worked in Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Innovation at University College London for over 23 years.  Dr Coathup qualified in Medical Cell Biology from the University of Liverpool before joining the Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, UCL as a Research Assistant in 1994.  Working with Professor Gordon Blunn within the Centre for Materials Research (formerly the John Scales Centre for Biomedical Engineering), her MRC funded research project focussed on the design and development of a novel design of orthopaedic implant for bone cancer patients. Dr Coathup furthered her knowledge and successfully gained her PhD in Orthopaedic Implant Fixation in 1999.   She became a Lecturer at UCL followed by a Senior Lecturer and then Reader in 2015.  

The Institute is co-located with the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, which is an internationally leading Centre of Excellence and tertiary referral centre for complex orthopaedic conditions. This environment facilitated Dr Coathup’s collaboration with engineers and clinicians, and allowed her to investigate and apply scientific discovery with a view of improving the treatment and care of patients.  During her career, Dr Coathup has researched orthopaedic implant fixation and bone regeneration, focussing on translational themes that include biomaterials, stem cells, the design and follow-up of implants, implant infection and bone graft substitute materials.  Her research in this field addresses the challenges of disease, ageing and trauma by developing and translating new devices, products and technology into clinical care. 

In collaboration with fellow scientists, clinicians, engineers and world-leading orthopaedic manufacturing companies, her innovative research has translated into direct clinical success including the design and development of a novel implant design for bone cancer patients, development of an optimal implant surface for increased bone integration in total hip replacement surgery and the development of a novel synthetic bone substitute material Inductigraft® to boost bone repair and regeneration. When combined, these innovative technologies have helped many patients worldwide. Her international standing and research excellence is recognised through her publications in high quality multi-disciplinary journals and through receiving several prestigious national, European and international prizes from her peers.  

Her current leadership roles include Head of the Centre for Tissue and Cell Research at UCL leading both clinical and non-clinical staff.  She is our Divisional Head of Athena SWAN and Women in Science lead, working with a team of 22 who implement innovative strategies to ensure a diverse and inclusive working environment, enabling our 170 staff and 900 students to flourish and excel. Dr Coathup recently successfully established and is Programme Lead for the new cross-Faculty BSc/MSci degree in Medical Sciences and Engineering which is due to start in September 2017.  She is a member of UCL’s and Kings College London’s B-mentoring scheme and has successfully supervised MD and PhD research students, undergraduate and post-graduate research projects and examined over 100 graduate theses besides lecturing to Undergradute and Post graduate taught students. 

Please join the Division in wishing Mel the very best of luck and success in her new role!