David C. Sarrett, D.M.D., named Dean of VCU School of Dentistry

David C. Sarrett, D.M.D., has been named dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry effective Dec. 1. He has been interim dean since earlier this year.

Sarrett will focus on building the research enterprise of the school with an emphasis on oral and head and neck cancer and bioengineering in collaboration with the VCU Massey Cancer Center and other VCU schools. He also will work to enhance the education, research and patient care outcomes through growth of the faculty in strategic areas and through faculty and staff development.

“Dr. Sarrett brings an energy and vision to the position of dean of the School of Dentistry that will provide the leadership required to sustain and strengthen the education, research and clinical missions of the school,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D.

Sarrett received his D.M.D. degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry and served on the faculty of the University of Florida College of Dentistry from 1978 until 1993. He completed a master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering with an emphasis on polymers and composites at University of Florida in 1988.

He joined VCU in 1993 as chair in the Department of General Practice Dentistry. He was appointed assistant dean for academic affairs in the School of Dentistry in 2000; became associate vice president for health sciences in 2003; and became president in 2008 of the VCU Dental Faculty Practice Association, a 501-3c corporation that operates the dental clinical practice.

Sarrett served on the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs from 2001 to 2005 and is currently an associate editor for the Journal of the American Dental Association. He also is the inaugural editor for the ADA Professional Products Review.

“David is an incredibly capable leader who has been a successful scholar and faculty member at two schools of dentistry,” said Sheldon Retchin, M.D., vice president for Health Sciences and CEO of the VCU Health System. “He is nationally prominent and I am delighted he has agreed to lead the school as the new dean. I look forward to working with him and continuing to build on our national reputation.”

Sarrett will continue to serve as the associate vice president for Health Sciences until a search is completed for his replacement.

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