Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska, M.S., Ph.D., named Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in the Medical School

By Lynn McCain | October 21 2022

We are pleased to share that the Board of Regents today (Oct. 20) approved the appointment of Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska, M.S., Ph.D., as associate dean for graduate and postdoctoral studies in the Medical School, effective Oct. 1, 2022.

Dr. Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska is a tenured professor in the Department of Pathology. She has been director of the Molecular and Cellular Pathology (MCP) Graduate Program since 2013, and in 2018 she was appointed associate director of the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS). In her new leadership role, she is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership for the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Medical School’s graduate, postbaccalaureate, and postdoctoral programs.

Dr Nikolovska-Coleska received her B.S. in pharmacy and M.S. from University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, North Macedonia. She received her Ph.D. training in pharmaceutical chemistry at the National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia and her alma mater university. In 2001, she came to the United States and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan in the field of drug discovery in the Department of Internal Medicine. She joined the U-M faculty in 2004 as a research investigator in the Department of Internal Medicine and was promoted to assistant professor in the Department of Pathology in 2008. She rose through the ranks, and in 2021 was promoted to tenured professor of pathology.

Dr. Nikolovska-Coleska has a substantial record of service contributions to the institution. Her time as graduate director has been a period of sustained growth of MCP. She has been integrally involved in developing, implementing and evaluating curriculum (introducing a new course, Translational Pathology 862), initiating and successfully establishing new National Institutes of Health (NIH)/NIGMS T32 Training Program in Translational Research, and focusing on students’ successful training, wellbeing and career preparation. In her role as PIBS associate director, she has provided leadership in all aspects of the graduate training experience and fostered community-building, mentorship and inclusion. From the beginning of her independent career, she has demonstrated a commitment to graduate and postgraduate level education by mentoring dozens of undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and visiting scholar fellows and serving on over 50 dissertation committees at the University of Michigan from several graduate programs including PIBS, Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

She is an internationally recognized biomedical researcher with an active research program focusing on discovery and development of molecularly targeted therapies for cancer treatment, particularly targeting protein-protein interactions involved in regulating apoptotic pathways and epigenetics. She has an exemplary funding record serving as a principal investigator on projects continuously funded by the NIH, DoD, foundations and biotech companies. She has been a remarkably successfully scholar with more than 80 peer-review publications and two book chapters, and she holds 11 issued U.S. patents. She has been the recipient of a number of research awards, including the New Investigator Award from Leukemia Research Foundation, Innovator Award from Harrington Discovery Institute, and AACR-Bayer Innovation and Discovery Award.

Dr. Nikolovska-Coleska participates on numerous grant review committees, including the NIH, DoD, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), Health Research Council of New Zealand, Macedonian Ministry of Education and Science, and she currently serves as a chair of the NIH study section Mechanisms of Cancer Therapeutics A (MCTA). She also is an associate editor of the Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Biology. She is president of the International Chemical Biology Society (2021-23) and has served as a member of its board of directors since 2015.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Nikolovska-Coleska on her associate dean role.


Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D.

Dean, University of Michigan Medical School

Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs

CEO, Michigan Medicine