Coleman was a member of the biochemistry faculty for 19 years and a Cancer Center administrator at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
Her research at the University of Kentucky st Lexington focused on the immune system and malignancies, and her laboratories received funding for over 20 years from the National Institutes of Health.
She has served as associate provost and dean of research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of New Mexico.
Her husband, Kenneth Coleman, is a political scientist specializing in Latin America, and her son, Jonathan, is a portfolio manager in Denver, Col.
Coleman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2001) and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in 1997.
Coleman earned her bachelor’s degree from Grinnel College in chemistry and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in biochemistry. Her work continued with postdoctoral work at North Carolina and the University of Texas at Austin.