College of Dentistry

Janet Guthmiller, DDS, PhD

Janet Guthmiller, DDS, PhD

Janet Guthmiller, DDS, PhD, dean of the College of Dentistry, is a nationally recognized leader in dental education and an accomplished researcher, author and teacher. She came to UNMC as Dentistry dean in 2014. She serves as president of the Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, a national organization that promotes academic excellence and professionalism among dental students and educators. She also serves as secretary of the administrative board of the American Dental Education Association Council of Deans.

Dr. Guthmiller is committed to the UNMC College of Dentistry’s tripartite mission of education, research and service. She has led numerous initiatives to advance the mission of the college, including a $4.8 million renovation to create a state-of-the-art learning environment that includes a clinical and virtual simulation laboratory where students use the most advanced 3D, virtual reality and haptics technology to build their clinical skills, and a digital design studio where students build cutting-edge digital dentistry skills. Other accomplishments under Dr. Guthmiller’s leadership includes the development of two educational programs – the advanced education in general dentistry residency program and the advanced standing dental program for internationally educated dentists; increased outreach to rural Nebraska, including a $4 million, 10-year contract from the State of Nebraska to increase oral health services and the number of dental graduates practicing in rural Nebraska; a $2.6 million renovation to the college’s clinic in the Durham Outpatient Center; a 32.2 percent increase in research funding; and the development of a highly effective clinical model that has transformed students’ patient care experiences.

She has received multiple awards for achievement in leadership and education, including a Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement from Northwestern College in 2015, a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Cellular and Structural Biology Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center in 2016, and a Honorary Life Membership Award in 2016 and Distinguished Service Award in 2021 from the UNMC College of Dentistry Alumni Association.

Before coming to UNMC, Dr. Guthmiller held the positions of associate dean of academic affairs and professor in the department of periodontology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, and was a faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. As an educator, she has a passion for mentorship programs. She was named the Faculty Mentor of the Year in 2007 by the National Student Research Group of the American Association for Dental Research and received the organization’s Faculty Advisor Appreciation Award in 2012. At the University of Iowa, she was the 2006 recipient of the prestigious University of Iowa Collegiate Teaching Award and was named Faculty Mentor of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Guthmiller has special interests in genetic studies of periodontal bacteria and the expression and activity of innate antimicrobial peptides. She is the author of two books, seven book chapters, 45 journal articles and online educational modules, and 66 journal abstracts, and the recipient of multiple grants from organizations including the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education.

Dr. Guthmiller is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and Fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists. She earned her DDS from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and her Periodontal Certificate and PhD in Cellular and Structural Biology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio as a part of the NIH-sponsored Dentist-Scientist Program.