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Interim Dean Named for UMMC School of Dentistry

May 30, 2024

TO:             UMMC Faculty, Staff and Students

FROM:        Dr. Scott Rodgers, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

SUBJECT:   Interim Dean Named for UMMC School of Dentistry

I’m pleased to announce that Dr. Pia Chatterjee Kirk, professor and chair of the Department of Care Planning and Restorative Sciences in the UMMC School of Dentistry, has been named as the school’s interim dean, effective immediately.

Pia Chaterjee Kirk

Dr. Kirk, who holds a DDS from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, has served the School of Dentistry in various roles since joining UMMC’s faculty in 2001, as a professor, researcher and skilled clinician.

From 2009 to 2021, Dr. Kirk was the director of continuing education programs for the School of Dentistry. She also served as division chief of the school’s operative clinic from 2014 to 2021. In addition to her role as chair, she was most recently one of the group care directors for the school’s Integrated Patient Care clinic.


Dr. Kirk has instructed pre-clinical, clinical and graduate courses spanning all divisions of care planning and restorative sciences, pediatric dentistry, special needs dentistry and advanced education general dentistry. She also supported dentistry students at the Jackson Free Clinic from 2012 to 2017.

Dr. Kirk has held membership and leadership positions on numerous state, national and international professional organizations and committees. She was a founding member of the Mississippi Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry as well as the Mississippi Association of Women Dentists. She is currently the president-elect of the Mississippi Chapter of the American College of Dentists, board member of the Mississippi Dental Association and member of the American Association of Women Dentists.

Dr. Kirk has a distinguished background in research. She has produced numerous scholarly publications  and contributed to many others as a reviewer and editor. She currently serves as editor of the Mississippi Chapter of the American College of Dentists newsletter and is both an editor and board member of the Mississippi Dental Association Journal.

In addition to her committed involvement as a researcher and professor, Dr. Kirk provides patient care as a faculty dentist for University Dentists. Previously, she has shared her professional expertise with the Head and Neck Cancer Team of Oral Clinicians, the Mississippi Sports Medicine Clinic, the Special Olympics Special Smiles and to numerous health fairs for elementary schools and community organizations.

Among many honors, Dr. Kirk has been awarded cover story features and faculty spotlights in academic journals. She was also recognized with the Shining Star Award in 2017 by the UMMC chapter of the Group of Women in Medicine and Science and with the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2007 by the American College of Dentists.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Kirk to the role of interim dean. I look forward to working with her to continue to advance the important work of the School of Dentistry as we begin a search for a permanent dean.