Janet Guthmiller, DDS, PhD, Dean
Janet Guthmiller, DDS, PhD, became the dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry on Sept. 1, 2014. She is the first woman to serve as dean of the college.
Dr. Guthmiller is a nationally recognized leader in dental education and an accomplished researcher, author and teacher. She currently serves as the 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 serves as secretary of 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 committed to the UNMC College of Dentistry’s tripartite mission of education, research and service. Her influence on the college, UNMC and the state of Nebraska is far-reaching. 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 places the College of Dentistry at the forefront of dental education. In the new Clinical and Virtual Simulation Laboratory, students use the most advanced 3D, virtual reality and haptics technology to build their clinical skills, and in the new Digital Design Studio, students build cutting-edge digital dentistry skills.
- Two new educational programs - the Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Program is designed to train recent dental school graduates to deliver comprehensive dental care to a wide range of patients and the Advanced Standing Dental Program allows internationally educated dentists to earn their DDS degrees.
- Increased outreach to rural Nebraska and a $4 million, 10-year contract from the State of Nebraska Oral Health Training and Services fund to increase the number of dental graduates practicing in rural Nebraska shortage areas and to increase oral health services for Nebraskans.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Dentistry was the first dental school in the nation to purchase mobile dental handpieces that students used at home to continue building their clinical skills, and the college’s clinical environment and operations were transformed so residents and students could resume providing routine patient care in summer 2020. See: "College of Dentistry led peers during the pandemic"
- A $2.6 million renovation to the UNMC College of Dentistry Dental Clinic located in the Durham Outpatient Center in Omaha. The renovation has allowed the college to accommodate a new residency program (AEGD) and increase the number of patients served.
- A 32.2 percent increase in research funding during fiscal year 2018 and important growth in student and faculty research programs.
- The development of a highly effective clinical model that closely resembles providing comprehensive care within a private practice; students are assigned to teams that provide patients with all the care they need.
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 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 (see publication listing), and the recipient of multiple grants from organizations including 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.
Associate and Assistant Deans
Associate Dean for Education
|James K. Wahl
Interim Associate Dean for Research
Assistant Dean for Clinic Operations
|Merlyn W. Vogt
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Director of Admissions