Janet M. Guthmiller, DDS, PhD, has served as dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry from 2014-2022.
Dr. Guthmiller led numerous initiatives to advance the mission of the College of Dentistry, including:
- More than $6 million in renovations to create a state-of-the-art learning environment that includes an interactive iWall classroom, 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;
- A $2.6 million renovation and expansion of the college’s clinic in the Durham Outpatient Center to accommodate a new residency program and opportunities for dental and dental hygiene students to provide dental care for medically compromised patients;
- Commitment of $14.6 million from UNMC leadership for building modernization, revitalization of student spaces and research space, and infrastructure repair from LB 384 to begin in summer 2022;
- The development of two educational programs – the advanced education in general dentistry residency program and the advanced standing dental program for internationally educated dentists;
- Leading dental education during COVID in providing students with technology and equipment to continue to practice their hand skills at home during the university shutdown;
- A 28 percent increase in grants and contracts this fiscal year and a near doubling in NIH research funding since 2019 as well as expansion of the research program through ongoing recruitment of basic scientists and recent recruitment of clinician-scientists, bringing expertise in the areas of orthodontics and geroscience, operative dentistry and dental materials, digital dentistry and public health dentistry;
- The development of a highly effective clinical model that has transformed students’ patient care experiences and improved continuity of care for patients;
- Collaborating with the Munroe-Meyer Institute to provide oral health services for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities in the Caring for Champions Clinic;
- Partnering with five Federally Qualified Health Centers in Nebraska and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Office of Oral Health and State Dental Health Director, Dr. Charles Craft, in providing oral health care services and screening and oral health education to the citizens of Nebraska;
- Increased outreach to rural Nebraska, including a $4 million, 10-year contract from the State of Nebraska to increase oral health services, including telehealth services and the number of dental graduates practicing in rural Nebraska (Dr. Guthmiller – Principal Investigator);
- Continuous funding of the Summer Health Professions Education Program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – a six-week program for undergraduate students underrepresented in the health professions (Dr. Guthmiller – Co-Principal Investigator);
- Navigating an academic, research and clinical enterprise through the COVID pandemic in partnership with the UNMC infectious disease team, UNMC College of Nursing, Nebraska Medicine, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Nebraska Public Health Laboratory, Department of Health and Human Services, Lincoln-Lancaster Public Health Department and the Big Ten dental deans to develop new clinical protocols for treating patients, providing a safe facility for faculty, staff, students and patients, securing COVID testing for patients and the college community, securing COVID vaccines and PPE, and educating students on vaccine administration.
About Dr. Guthmiller
Dr. Guthmiller has received multiple awards for outstanding achievement in leadership and education. She received 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 San Antonio 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 becoming dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry, 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.
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 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education.
She served as president of the Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU), a national organization that promotes academic excellence and professionalism among dental students and educators. She also served in leadership roles on the administrative board of the American Dental Education Association Council of Deans, a national organization that studies current issues facing dental students.
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.