Jan Ching Chun Hu will serve as interim dean of the School of Dentistry starting May 16.
Hu, the Samuel D. Harris Collegiate Professor of Dentistry and professor of dentistry, is a distinguished scholar with much of her research focused on pediatric dentistry, genetic etiology and the disease mechanism of inherited disorders involving teeth.
“I look forward to working with the greater community of our school until the new dean is in position,” Hu said.
Hu will succeed Laurie K. McCauley, current dean of the School of Dentistry, who was recently named the university’s next provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. She begins her term May 16.
Hu’s appointment was announced May 11 by Susan M. Collins, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Hu will serve until a permanent dean is appointed. The appointment will be reported to the university’s Board of Regents at its May 19 meeting on the UM-Dearborn campus.
“Dr. Hu is an accomplished scholar, a valued teacher and mentor, and has a strong record of administrative experience in the School of Dentistry and in the profession more broadly,” Collins said. “She will provide valuable leadership to the school in this interim period.”
“Dr. Hu is a highly regarded dental researcher and a valued mentor to graduate and professional students,” McCauley said. “She brings significant leadership experience, including director of the Ph.D. program in oral health sciences and chair in two departments in the dental school. Her effective leadership in these areas will serve the school and university well during this interim period.”
Hu joined the School of Dentistry’s Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry as an associate professor, with tenure, in 2002. In 2005, she was appointed as the director of pediatric dentistry and was appointed to the Harris Professorship in 2006.
Among her many leadership roles, Hu served as the director of the oral health sciences Ph.D program from 2010-18, and as interim chair of the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry from July 2015-June 2016. Hu also was appointed as chair of the Department of Biological and Materials Sciences and Prosthodontics in September 2018 and continues to serve in that position.
Prior to joining the faculty at U-M, Hu was a clinical assistant professor and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in craniofacial molecular biology at the University of Southern California in 1990. From 1993-2002, Hu was a part of the faculty in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. While there she was promoted to associate professor, with tenure.
Among Hu’s accolades and accomplishments, she has had continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for 28 years and has contributed more than 150 peer-reviewed publications. The results of her studies have contributed to the understanding of tooth formation and mineralization, and facilitated genetic testing and interventions of patients with inherited tooth disorders.
Hu also received the William J. Gies Award from the International Association for Dental Research and the American Associate for Dental Research in 2001 and 2005.
In 2011, she received the Paul P. Taylor Award, and was selected as the lead author of the most prestigious journal article in Pediatric Dentistry from the previous year.
In 2015, Hu was recognized by the IADR to receive the Distinguished Scientist Award for Basic Research in Biological Mineralization Award. In 2017, Hu received the Distinguished Faculty Research Mentoring award in U-M’s School of Dentistry.
Hu received her Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from National Taiwan University in 1985. She received a specialty certificate in pediatric dentistry from USC in 1988, as well as her Ph.D. in craniofacial biology in 1990.