Appointments, Faculty and Staff

Flood to Step Down as Associate Dean for Research; Beck to Serve as Interim

Dr. Patrick Flood, associate dean for research at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry since 1994, will step down from this position at the end of June to concentrate on research and teaching.

Flood will continue to direct the Comprehensive Center for Inflammatory Disorders and the Oral Biology Ph.D. Program. He is an associate professor of periodontology within the School of Dentistry and of microbiology and immunology within the School of Medicine.

Dr. James Beck, Kenan professor in the School of Dentistry’s Department of Dental Ecology, will serve as interim associate dean for research beginning July 1, and a nationwide search for Flood’s successor will begin soon, Dean John N. Williams said in a June 1 e-mail to the School community.

“Dr. Flood has devoted more than 10 years of his career to strengthening our School’s national research excellence, and I am grateful for his dedication and service to this mission,” Williams said. “His leadership in the Oral Biology Ph.D. Program has been instrumental in developing the next generation of oral health researchers. I am pleased that he will continue to contribute to our School’s national research excellence in his roles as a researcher, teacher and mentor.”

Flood joined the University’s faculty in 1988. His research has concentrated on, among other areas, exploring possible links between gum disease and potentially life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. He also is an internationally recognized leader in the field of cancer research and has more than 100 publications in the fields of immune regulation, cell biology and inflammation. He was the principal investigator of a $12.7 million federal and privately funded P-60 grant in 1999 that established the Comprehensive Center for Inflammatory Disorders.

Beck was also involved in the P-60 grant, serving as the co-principal investigator on the center grant. At that time, this grant was the largest awarded to the School of Dentistry by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).

Beck is co-director of the Comprehensive Center for Inflammatory Disorders and of the Center for Oral and Systemic Diseases. (Dr. Steven Offenbacher, OraPharma distinguished professor of periodontal medicine, is the director.) Beck also is associate director of the medical school’s General Clinical Research Center. He has published more than 200 journal articles and book chapters, and his research areas include geriatric dentistry, dental epidemiology, health services and oral-systemic disease relationships.

He began the School of Dentistry’s Special Care Clinic and the Oral Epidemiology Ph.D. Program. He currently directs a National Institutes of Health-funded program to train future dental academicians in clinical research.

“I am grateful for Dr. Beck’s leadership during this time of transition,” Williams said. “The search for Dr. Flood’s successor will be a process involving the insights of many of our colleagues within the School of Dentistry and health affairs. Our School has a very strong research reputation within the academic dental community. Our gifted faculty members are pursuing discoveries that improve life for citizens in North Carolina and beyond.”