Skip Navigation and Go To Content

Lisa D. Cain, PhD

Dr. Lisa D. Cain, PhD
  • Title: Associate Dean for Professional Development and Faculty Affairs; Professor
  • Office: SOD-6240
  • Phone: 713-486-4019
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Administrative Area(s): Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences, Professional Development and Faculty Affairs
  • Education:

    BS | Jackson State University
    PhD | University of Mississippi Medical Center
    Postdoctoral Fellow | Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Lisa D. Cain, PhD, joined the UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry faculty in 2017 as associate dean for Professional Development and Faculty Affairs, and as a professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. In 2023, she received the title of associate vice president for Faculty Affairs and Development for UTHealth Houston.

She came to the School of Dentistry from The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, where she served as an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, associate member of the Institute for the Medical Humanities, director of Medical School Enrichment Programs in the Office of Student Affairs, and as assistant dean for Faculty Affairs at the School of Medicine.

Her experience in governance and faculty affairs also includes past roles as chair of the UTMB Faculty Senate and co-chair of the Health Affairs Committee of The University of Texas System’s Faculty Advisory Council. Her experience in faculty development leadership initiatives also extends to the regional, national, and international levels. She currently holds an elected position as chair of the American Association of Medical Colleges Group on Faculty Affairs (GFA). In this position, she represents approximately 800 faculty affairs leaders across the U.S. and Canada. She was chair on behalf of the GFA during the 2019 GWIMS/GFA Professional Development Conference that was held in Chicago. Currently, she is an executive board member of the AAMC Association of American Medical Colleges’ Council of Faculty and Academic Societies. In 2017, she founded and organized the regional Texas Consortium for Faculty Success, which consists of 13 Texas health science institutions and 32 faculty affairs/faculty development administrators.

She is very active in the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). She is co-chair of the leadership development component of the Women in Leadership Section (formerly the Women in Leadership Special Interest Group). She was a member of a team of six who drafted the proposal for the Women in Leadership Special Interest Group to become a section and a voting component of ADEA. She is responsible for assisting in obtaining funding from ADEA to organize a series of leadership modules for women faculty in dentistry and dental hygiene who desire to hold leadership positions. She is co-chair of the 2024 ADEA International Women in Leadership Conference.

Her involvement as a medical and graduate educator spans 30 years. At UTMB, she was course director for Gross Anatomy and Radiology Course, as well as course director for the Graduate School of Biomedical Science’s Cell Biology Course for several years. She was vice chair of the Curriculum Committee at the School of Medicine and served as the subcommittee chair for the evaluation of governance and administration for the LCME medical school accreditation process in 2014-15 and was a member of the LCME Preparation Committee. 

At UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry, as the associate dean for Professional Development and Faculty Affairs and professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences, she assists in achieving the goals and deliverables established by the dental school’s strategic plan, teaches in the Head and Neck Anatomy Course, and is a recipient of a Faculty Development Loan Repayment Grant from the Health Services Administration. She also serves as a co-director of the university’s Health Education Fellowship Program, which provides faculty training in education and teaching across each school, and is a member of UTHealth Houston Executive Compliance Committee.

As a neuroscientist, Dr. Cain’s past research has focused on investigating cholinergic neuron survival and agents that protect spinal cord neurons against the effect of glutamate toxicity and other insults. 

She is the recipient of multiple teaching awards and honors, including:

  • UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (ROTA) 2015
  • The Pre-Clinical Woman in Medicine Award, UTMB (outstanding teacher and role model)
  • The Dr. Martin Luther King Service Award 2016
  • City Council of Galveston, Texas, proclaiming Jan. 13, 2016, as Dr. Lisa Cain Day
  • Induction into the Academy of Master Teachers, UTMB
  • Graduate of the UTMB Scholars in Education Program
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences Distinguished Alumnus 2020
  • Pillars Lifetime Achievement Awards form the Diversity Office at the University of Mississippi Medical Center 2021
  • Selected by the editors of the Journal of the Hispanic Dental Association as one of 11 contemporary women leaders in dentistry in the U.S. 2022

Internationally, she is known for her contributions to education and has served as an educational consultant on the national and international levels, leading initiatives in France (Paris), Canada, and Africa. She is a Marshall Goldsmith’s Certified Executive Leadership Coach and has served as a mentor to students, faculty, and administrators. Dr. Cain is also an artist who incorporates her love for art into the educational arena.