New UConn Dental Dean Named
The University of Connecticut (UConn) has recruited Sharon M. Gordon, DDS, MPH, PhD, as UConn School of Dental Medicine’s next dean. She will be the first woman to serve as dean of the dental school in its more than 50-year history.
Gordon is a distinguished educator, clinician, and scientist. She will join UConn Health on August 31 from East Carolina University’s (ECU) School of Dental Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina, where she is currently associate dean for innovation and discovery and professor and chair of the Department of Foundational Sciences.
“I’m honored to be selected to lead the UConn School of Dental Medicine at this juncture of its history,” Gordon says. “Its strong research programs, model curriculum, and reputation for excellence in clinical education set the stage for building on its trajectory of success. I’m looking forward to engaging in active dialogue with faculty, staff, students, university colleagues, and alumni to determine priorities for development.”
As ECU School of Dental Medicine’s inaugural research dean, she has focused on building research capacity; designing the research laboratories for the dental school; and doubling extramural research funding over a five-year period. Previously, for more than two decades – first at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and then at the University of Maryland – Gordon’s accomplishments were notable for creating innovative dental curriculum, and for research training and career development, with an emphasis on clinicians.
Gordon has been continuously funded for her research since departing NIH, and has taken part in multiple clinical trials that have led to FDA-approved dental therapeutics for pain control.
Her clinical and research interests center on improving the management of pain through improved analgesia and anesthesia, as well as accelerating oral wound healing, particularly following tissue injury or mucosal perturbations due to cancer therapy.
Gordon takes over from R. Lamont “Monty” MacNeil, DDS, MDentSc, who is stepping down this summer from his role as dental dean after 12 years. MacNeil will remain a member of the faculty, while taking a sabbatical to represent UConn on the national stage as chair of the Board of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).