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School of Dentistry search down to two

Published on Thursday, October 22, 2015

Published in News Stories on October 22, 2015

After onsite meetings and extensive interviews, the School of Dentistry's dean search committee has narrowed its candidate list to two: Dr. Janet Southerland and Dr. David Felton.

Both candidates will be at UMMC in the coming weeks for final meetings and town-hall style presentations for members of the campus community.



Dr. David Felton received his D.D.S. and M.S. in prosthodontics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He joined the UNC faculty in 1984 as an assistant professor in the Department of Fixed Prosthodontics. He served as director of graduate prosthodontics for four years and as chair of the prosthodontics department for a decade before rejoining the faculty as a full professor. 

Felton became dean of the West Virginia University School of Dentistry in 2011. After three years of service as dean, he is now a professor in the school's Department of Restorative Dentistry. 

President of the Academy of Prosthodontics, Felton also has served as president of the American College of Prosthodontists. He is editor of the Journal of Prosthodontics and also serves as secretary-treasurer for the American Board of Prosthodontics (ABP). He became a Diplomate of the ABP in 1996, and has since successfully recertified twice. 

Felton is the author or coauthor of more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and has given numerous national and international lectures on dental implants, fixed and removable prosthodontics, and treatment planning. He has a special interest in the relationship between tooth loss and other systemic comorbid diseases. 



Dr. Janet Southerland received her D.D.S. and Ph.D. in oral biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry and her M.P.H. from the UNC School of Public Health. Southerland completed a two-year general residency program and a fellowship in hospital dentistry at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Southerland served as dean of the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry from 2011-13 and is a tenured full professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery there. Before joining Meharry, Southerland served on the UNC School of Dentistry faculty for 18 years, including service as chair of hospital dentistry, chief of the oral medicine service at UNC Hospitals, and director of the Dental Assistant On-Call Program.  

Southerland earned a fellowship in the American College of Dentistry in 2011. She serves on the Robert Wood Johnson National Advisory Committee for the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program and is a Robert Wood Johnson Senior Associate in the Meharry Medical College Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Center.

Southerland's research interests include the study of the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease and early detection, interventions for oral cancer and the impact of oral disease on HIV overall health outcomes. She has received grants totaling more than $25 million from both public and private institutions and has authored or coauthored multiple peer-reviewed journal articles.


Southerland will visit UMMC Thursday-Friday, Nov. 12-13, and will speak at a town hall meeting from 5:15-6:15 p.m. on Nov. 12 in classroom R153 (lower amphitheatre). Felton will visit UMMC Wednesday-Thursday, Nov. 18-19, and will speak at a town hall meeting from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in classroom R153 (lower amphitheatre).

Videos of the town hall meetings will be available on the UMMC Intranet; UMMC faculty, staff and students will have the opportunity to provide anonymous feedback.