Early Career Faculty Award


Jessica Huston, Pharm.D

Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy

Dr. Huston serves as the campus coordinator for 2PD skills labs, is co-director of the first-year Principles of Patient Centered Care course and provides lectures and instruction in other courses in the curriculum. Additionally, she is the chair of the College of Pharmacy Admissions committee, current President of Duval County Pharmacy Association, and advisor for student organizations on the Jacksonville and Orlando campuses. On top of this, she has 29 publications and presented dozens of state and national presentations in her very short career that began in 2021.  She is on track to be one of the most prolific faculty members on our campus which helps put a spotlight on UF Health Jacksonville, specifically. Her nominators all noted her obvious competence and skills in her lab but most distinctly appreciate her mentorship and teaching capabilities.  She encourages autonomy and innovation and seeks active feedback from students on how to improve the program. Her second year skills lab used to be one of the most daunting experiences in their curriculum. However, colleagues comment that since Dr. Huston has taken over, students are evidently more engaged with a more significant drive to succeed and learn. Additionally, Dr. Huston developed and maintained a Research Portal. Through this portal, she identifies research opportunities for students and connects them with investigators and projects to gain experience in the area. Students have gained internship experience and written papers as a result of these research portal matches. This has allowed students at our distance campus the same opportunities afforded to our Gainesville students. We are excited what Jessica will continue to bring to our institution and find her to be overwhelmingly appropriate as the recipient for this year’s WIMS Early Career Faculty Award.


Rachel Carpenter, MD

Rachel Carpenter, MD
Rachel Carpenter, MD

Assistant Professor, Department Psychiatry

2023 Awardee – Women in Medicine and Science Early Career Faculty Award

•Nominated twice, by Psychiatry Chair, APD, and Resident

•Completed Psychiatry residency at UF Jacksonville in 2022, where she was a chief resident. Awards include the Outstanding Resident Educator award, Psychiatry Resident of the Year, and was nominated for the prestigious Leon Haley Jr. MD Leadership Award for Inclusive Excellence.

•National Work: Postpartum Support International organization (PSI), which is dedicated to helping families suffering from postpartum mental health. She completed a Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder training with PSI.


Rana Alissa, MD
Rana Alissa, MD

Rana Alissa, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics Division of Neonatology Specialty

2022 Awardee – Women in Medicine and Science Early Career Faculty Award

“Dr. Alissa serves as a consultant for risk management and provides her assistance to the risk management department with respect to complications/complaints regarding neonatal circumcisions. Applying her clinical insight, she has been able to reduce neonatal transfer from newborn nursery to intensive care unit from 35% to 12% through three different projects now published in peer reviewed journals.”

“As well, she led introduction of donor milk bank in order to fill the gaps for those nursing mothers whose babies needed more milk then they were producing. She was able to increase breast feeding rates at NICU upon discharge of babies by 4-fold.”

“She is so dedicated to patient care that she created an excellent professional quality “Instructional Video for Newborn Care” for parents both in English and in Spanish that is used by the entire department as well as neonatologists throughout Jacksonville.”

“In order to facilitate availability of vaccines to all children including those residing in hard to reach and poor communities, this nominee has been engaged in patient advocacy. She was granted a scholarship award by AAP to fulfill this objective. She and her group met virtually with our congressmen and women and made oral presentations. A bill has been introduced to achieve this objective but it has yet to pass through the congress and the senate.”

“Ever since she joined as a faculty member about 8 years ago, she has received 14 teaching awards! (5 exemplary teacher awards by the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, and 8 Student Teacher Apple awards.”

“For excellence in research she received the “Beal’s Award for best original Research” for the entire North East Florida region, where all clinical, surgical, and non-clinical departments compete (including faculty members from the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, Mayo Clinic, and Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville).”

“As if this wasn’t enough, Dr. Alissa is completing a three year fellowship in medical informatics. She is an advanced level epic builder Therefore, her contribution to creating patient-care 5 templates within the division of neonatology and outside the department have contributed significantly to overall clinical efficiency and to patient-safety.”