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Morika Williams, DVM, DACLAM

Clinician Scientist, PhD Candidate


Morika Williams is from Greensboro, North Carolina by way of Owego, New York. She earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Laboratory Animal Science and Animal Science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. After graduating from undergraduate studies in 2010 with honors, she obtained her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine (NCSU CVM) in 2014. Following this, she completed the Research Triangle Laboratory Animal Medicine Residency Training Program in 2016. She then became board-certified in laboratory animal medicine by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. Dr. Williams remained at NCSU CVM for her graduate studies, where she is currently a clinical scientist and PhD candidate in the Comparative Biomedical Science program, with a concentration in pharmacology.

Dr. Williams is a member of the Translational Research in Pain (TRiP) program, which is dedicated to answering critical questions about pain control and pain mechanisms through high quality, innovative research. The aim of her research is to better understand, recognize, and alleviate pain in the newborn to improve the quality of life in adulthood for both human and animals. Her research interests include the mechanisms of neurobiology and neurophysiology of pain processing, neonatal pain, chronic pain, degenerative joint disease, translational medicine, analgesics, and evoked and non-evoked pain assessments tools for laboratory and companion animals.

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International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), member
IASP Special Interest Group on Non-Human Pain
North Carolina Comparative Medicine Institute, associate member
North Carolina Association of Minority Veterinarians, member
American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, member
North Carolina Academy of Laboratory Animal Medicine, member
Academy of Educators, member
Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP)‐NC Project, Student Leadership Council
Diplomate, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine
Neurobiology, Pharmacology
Dr. Williams’ main research interests are the mechanisms of neurobiology and neurophysiology of pain processing. She studies the long-term effects of early life injury on chronically painful conditions later in life. In particular, she is using a translational rat model of repetitive tissue injury to mimic the most common procedure performed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the heel stick. This coupled with the induction of osteoarthritis in adulthood allows her to evaluate long-lasting chronic changes that result in central sensitization due to untreated, early tissue injury. She strives to better understand, recognize, and alleviate pain in the newborn to improve the quality of life in adulthood.