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Cain appointed to university leadership position in faculty affairs, development

Published: March 06, 2023 by

Head shot of Dr. Lisa Cain.
Dr. Lisa Cain has been appointed associate vice president of faculty affairs and development at UTHealth Houston.

Professor Lisa D. Cain, PhD, associate dean for professional development and faculty affairs at the School of Dentistry, has been appointed associate vice president of faculty affairs and development at UTHealth Houston, university leadership announced March 3.

Cain will oversee faculty recruitment, evaluation, promotion, and retention of faculty for UTHealth Houston’s six — and soon-to-be seven — schools. She will be responsible for the implementation of innovative faculty development programs to enhance productivity and increase excellence.

“One of our goals will be to increase the collaborative engagement of faculty affairs and development offices across our schools and produce excellence and global impact that are uniquely grounded in the intellect and the heart,” said Cain, whose experience and leadership in academic health education spans 30 years. “Intellect starts in the mind but intellect combined with the heart and a sincere desire to make a difference produces a positive, great impact. It will be my honor and joy to serve UTHealth Houston and our faculty members in making such a significant impact.”

John A. Valenza, DDS, dean and The William N. Finnegan III Distinguished Professor in the Dental Sciences at the School of Dentistry, said Cain is best qualified for this new role — not only because of the transformative work she has done within the dental school, but also the leadership roles she has taken on more broadly at the university, The University of Texas System, nationally, and worldwide.

“From chairing groups and conferences for the ADEA and AAMC on the national level to chairing a Commission on Dental Accreditation subcommittee at the school level, Dr. Cain has all the attributes of a visionary leader,” Valenza said. “Her dedication and enthusiasm for faculty development, as well as her advocacy for education, is unmatched.”

Since joining the School of Dentistry faculty and administration in 2017, where she is also a professor in the Department of Diagnostics and Biomedical Sciences, Cain has been instrumental in the advancement of educational program development, including inclusion and wellness initiatives. She serves as a co-director of the university’s Health Education Fellowship Program, which provides faculty training in education and teaching across the schools, and she also has served as an educational consultant on a global level.

Prior to joining the School of Dentistry, Cain served in multiple leadership roles at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB Health). She received her bachelor’s degree in biology at Jackson State University and her PhD in anatomy at the University of Mississippi Medical Center before completing her postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The University of Mississippi Medical Center honored her with the Pillars Lifetime Achievement Award and named her a Distinguished Alumnus.

Cain’s university appointment was announced in tandem with Maria E. Fernández, PhD, who was named vice president of population health and implementation science. Fernández will lead the university’s efforts in population health sciences including the integration of innovations and discoveries into real-world settings.

Fernández is the Lorne Bain Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Medicine, director of the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, and founding co-director of the UTHealth Houston Institute for Implementation Science.

“These two new leadership positions are essential to advancing the university’s mission of education, research, and clinical service,” said Kevin Morano, PhD, senior vice president of Academic and Faculty Affairs. “Both Drs. Fernández and Cain are leading experts in their fields with a wealth of experience, and we are truly fortunate to add them to our leadership team.”

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