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NIDCR's Dr. Garcia named UF dental dean

September 15, 2014
Photo of Dr. Garcia
Dr. Garcia: NIDCR deputy director to become dean University of Florida College of Dentistry Feb. 2015.
Gainesville, Fla. – Dr. Isabel Garcia is "delighted and honored by the opportunity to lead" the University of Florida College of Dentistry as its seventh permanent dean starting in February, 2015. The university announced her appointment Sept. 15 at ufhealth.org.

A career public health officer, she is deputy director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, one of the National Institutes of Health and the leading source of dental research funding in the United States.

"Having spent most of my career in the public sector, I am particularly drawn to UF's origins as a public land-grant university and its founding mission of service to the community," Dr. Garcia said. "I hope to work with colleagues across the university and join forces with interested organizations, communities and others to achieve the common goal of improving oral health for all people through the college's teaching, research and service missions."

A rear admiral lower half in the uniformed U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Garcia joined the NIDCR in 1995. Among her leadership activities, Dr. Garcia led NIDCR's science transfer efforts, directed its Office of Science Policy and Analysis and served as acting director 2010-2011. She served as coordinator for global health and directed NIDCR's Residency in Dental Public Health program. Dr. Garcia has been a faculty adviser and mentor for more than 30 dental public health residents.

"Dr. Garcia brings a great depth of leadership experience to all the core activities of the UF College of Dentistry and UF Health, from education to public health to research and technology transfer," said UF President Bernie Machen. "She is the ideal choice to lead the college as UF continues its drive to rise among the nation's top public universities."

Dr. Garcia was chosen after a nationwide search led by chair Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the UF College of Medicine.

"After a thorough national search that attracted many top-notch candidates, Dr. Garcia was recognized as the individual who could best lead the UF College of Dentistry to preeminence," said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health. "I am confident that under her leadership, our nationally prominent College of Dentistry will gain even greater recognition by expanding the breadth and depth of our research programs and clinical practices while developing innovative and forward-looking approaches to dental education and community partnerships in oral health care."

Dr. Garcia is an active member of the American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association and International Association for Dental Research, a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health and a fellow of the American College of Dentists.