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Denis Kinane: Dean of Penn Dental School
February 24, 2009, Volume 55, No. 23



President Amy Gutmann and Interim Provost Designate Vincent Price announced last week they have selected Denis F. Kinane to be the next dean of the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, effective July 1, 2009.

Dr. Kinane is currently the Delta Dental Endowed Professor in the department of periodontics, endodontics and dental hygiene and associate dean for research and enterprise at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry and a professor of microbiology and immunology in the University of Louisville School of Medicine. 

A native of Scotland, Dr. Kinane earned his bachelor of dental surgery in 1980 and his PhD in microbiology in 1983, both from the University of Edinburgh. He is a member of the Faculties of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and holds specialist registration in the UK in periodontics and restorative dentistry.

“Dr. Kinane brings to Penn a compelling and interdisciplinary vision for the future of dental science,” President Gutmann said. “He has a deep understanding of the interdependence among the educational, research and clinical missions of a dental school and an unyielding commitment to the highest quality teaching, excellence in patient care and eminence in research.”

“Dr. Kinane is a strong advocate of closer ties among dental medicine, medicine and the basic sciences and of forging new linkages between dental schools, the community and business sectors,” Interim Provost Price said. “He will help us further advance Penn’s strong commitment to access, to integrating knowledge across disciplines and to local and global engagement.”

A skilled recruiter of outstanding faculty, Dr. Kinane dramatically improved the Louisville dental school’s research profile and professional standing, raising its national ranking in research funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) from 37th to 12th.

Dr. Kinane personally recruited eminent researchers and clinicians from schools around the world to Louisville and oversaw the creation of a new oral health and systemic disease research group.

As a researcher, his professional engagements bridge the divide between the basic and clinical sciences, and his research has improved dental medicine’s understanding of the causes and development of gum diseases. Dr. Kinane has also examined the relationships between oral and systemic health and among diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and periodontal disease.

As an active clinician, Dr. Kinane has taught periodontics for more than 20 years and has spent considerable time supervising students in teaching and research clinics and developing educational and computer-assisted learning programs. Earlier in his career, Dr. Kinane served as chair of the periodontal department at the University of Glasgow, and he maintains a strong commitment to clinical dental education.

During his time at Louisville, Dr. Kinane has actively supported development and alumni-relations programs. He has also partnered with leaders in government and the business sector to increase commercialization and technology-transfer opportunities for dental researchers.

“Denis Kinane will build on the strong history and international reputation of Penn’s School of Dental Medicine, guided in recent years by former Dean Marjorie Jeffcoat and Interim Dean Thomas Sollecito,” President Gutmann said. 

“Vince Price and I express our deepest appreciation for the exemplary leadership of Tom Sollecito in recent stints as acting dean and now as interim dean. Tom guided the School through its reaccreditation process with enormous success, and he continues to lead the School with the highest degree of integrity and commitment,” President Gutmann said. Dr. Sollecito will continue to lead the School as Interim Dean until Dr. Kinane takes office on July 1.


Almanac - February 24, 2009, Volume 55, No. 23