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PonJola Coney, M.D.

PonJola Coney, M.D.


Dr. Coney’s clinical abilities were manifested early in her career, as she established academic programs of assisted reproduction at four successive institutions, yielding more than 500 births while directing clinical and laboratory activities, and training residents and fellows in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Coney is highly regarded as a superb lecturer and teacher.

She has contributed articles steadily to peer-reviewed journals, written book chapters and numerous abstracts, and has garnered funding totaling more than $27 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and industry. Her research interest lies in identifying the determinants and etiologies of reproductive disorders that contribute to health disparities for minority women. She established a Center for Research in Women’s Health in which clinical trials were used to examine determinants of bone mineral density and uterine leiomyoma in African-American women. This collaborative research project had relevance to understanding the disparity in these areas between white and black women.

Perhaps Dr. Coney’s most significant professional accomplishments lie in the administrative domain. She is a natural leader with the capacity to bring people together to work constructively and creatively. As dean of the school of medicine at the historically black Meharry Medical College she guided the school through a period of progressive growth and academic transformation. During her tenure at Meharry, she obtained NIH funding to establish an EXPORT Center which engaged the community on issues related to health disparities and access to care.

Before her work at Meharry, Dr. Coney was professor and chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She has also held faculty positions at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Nebraska and the University of Arizona. 

Dr. Coney received a bachelor's degree in medical technology (Xavier University) and a medical degree (University of Mississippi). She completed an obstetrics and gynecology residency at the University of North Carolina and a reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellowship at Pennsylvania Hospital.