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Assistant Professor, Oral & Craniofacial Molecular Biology, School of Dentistry

Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Sep 22, 2023

Mission or Goal of Unit:

The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Dentistry is located in downtown Richmond, Virginia. With a 130-year history, Virginia’s only dental school provides opportunities for selected, qualified individuals to study dentistry and oral health through a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S) program, graduate specialty training programs and a dental hygiene program. The VCU School of Dentistry is one of a small number of dental schools in the country affiliated with an academic medical center, the only dental school in the Commonwealth, and the second oldest dental school in the U.S. It is one of five health sciences academic programs on the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) Campus of VCU.

Chief Purpose of this position:

Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Dentistry is seeking applicants for a full-time faculty member in the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Molecular Biology (OCMB). The incumbent will also be a member of the VCU Philips Institute for Oral Health Research. This is a term faculty appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Position Responsibilities:

Responsibilities will include running a multi-disciplinary research project, writing and submitting grants, establishing and maintaining a National Institute of Health (NIH) funded research group, teaching graduate and dental students, and mentoring of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

Teaching: Faculty members are expected to teach in an integrated curriculum system that includes baccalaureate, graduate, and professional education. Teaching across traditional departmental lines and in multidisciplinary teams is required. Faculty members are expected to foster transformative learning that is informed by interdisciplinary and translational research, scholarship, and creative expression. May be required to take on administrative roles in teaching such as course leadership.

Research: The major focus for this position will be research. The faculty member will lead a new initiative in the School of Dentistry within the Philips Institute for Oral Health Research. The Institute already has strengths in bacteriology, virology and cancer and the appointed person will develop a project in association with existing Principal Investigators (PIs) to bring these three areas of investigation together. In particular, the ability of bacteria to influence human papillomavirus infection (HPV is causative in 5% of all cancers, and HPV16 is causative in 90% of HPV positive oral cancers) and oral cancer development will be a priority. The incumbent will be required to make applications to the NIH to extramurally fund their laboratory. Supervision and training of PhD and Master's students is required. This position fits in with the School of Dentistry strategic plan to achieve significant research advances in the next five years and to expand the research capacity of the school.

Service: The faculty member will be expected to serve the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Molecular Biology, the School of Dentistry, and Virginia Commonwealth University by serving on committees and task forces as requested. In addition, participation in dentistry-related community service activities is strongly encouraged.

Administrative or Other: Most of the time for this position will be dedicated to research. Additional duties may be assigned by the Chair of the Department and performed by the faculty member as reasonably requested.

Required Qualifications:
  • PhD degree
  • At least two years of post-doctoral training
  • First-author publications in leading international journals
  • Experience with mentoring and supervision of laboratory workers
  • Teaching experience
  • Must possess a well-developed scholarly / research portfolio with evidence of multi-disciplinary potential
  • Presentations at International meetings and/or workshops
  • Must have strong potential for National Institute of Health (NIH) grant funding
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt to change and embrace modern technology
  • Previous experience working with bacteria
  • Previous experience working on human papillomaviruses
  • A high degree of organizational skills will be required
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU
  • Candidates must demonstrate the ability to contribute to and participate in a humanistic environment of learning
  • Candidates must demonstrate the ability, or acquire and develop such ability, to incorporate adult learning theory, evidence-based oral health care, innovation in student learning, and critical thinking
Preferred Qualifications:
  • A dental degree would be advantageous for this position
  • Training and ability to initiate a project investigating the interaction between bacteria and human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) and how interactions contribute to the development of HPV-positive oral cancers
Three recent letters of reference, or contact information for at least three references, will be required for consideration.

Position Type: Teaching & Research Faculty
Full time equivalent: 1
Tenure: Term
Rank: Assistant Professor
Months: 12
Department: VCU School of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Molecular Biology

ORP Eligible: Yes

Salary: Commensurate, up to $100,000

Contact Information:
Contact Name: Dr. Todd Kitten
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 804-628-7010

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