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Dr. Jane A. Weintraub, a widely recognized dental health expert and researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry, has been appointed as the next dean of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry.

Chancellor Holden Thorp and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney selected Weintraub following a national search.The University’s Board of Trustees today (Jan. 27) approved the appointment, effective July 1, 2011.

“During her 30-year career, Dr. Weintraub has contributed significantly to the efforts to prevent dental disease among people most at risk,” said Chancellor Holden Thorp. “She has earned national recognition for her work to reduce oral health disparities and is an outstanding educator, scientist and mentor. Such qualifications have prepared her well to guide the School of Dentistry in continuing to fulfill its mission of providing excellent teaching, patient care, research and public service.”

Weintraub was a faculty member at Carolina for seven years before starting at UCSF in 1995. She is the Lee Hysan Professor of Dental Public Health and Oral Epidemiology in the School of Dentistry and chair of the oral epidemiology and dental public health division in the school’s preventive and restorative dental sciences department.

Her research has helped shape scientific guidelines regarding sealants and fluoride that have become a part of mainstream dental and public health practices. She is principal investigator and director of the Center to Address Disparities in Children’s Oral Health, known as CAN DO. The center focuses on preventing early childhood caries, a condition that disproportionately affects young children from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2008, this National Institutes of Health-funded center received an additional seven years of funding totaling $24.4 million — the biggest grant in the UCSF School of Dentistry’s history.

She is past president of both the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and the International Association of Dental Research’s behavioral sciences and health services research group. She was one of the scientific editors and contributing authors for the first Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health. In 2009 she received the International Association of Dental Research’s H. Trendley Dean Distinguished Scientist Award for her work in oral epidemiology and dental public health, and in 2010 she received the American Dental Association’s Norton M. Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research.