LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

Southerland Assumes Chief Academic Officer Role at LSU Health New Orleans

November 1, 2022

LSU Health New Orleans welcomes Janet Southerland, DDS, MPH, PhD, as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. She joins LSU Health’s leadership from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where she was Vice President for Interprofessional Education, Institutional Effectiveness and Health Education, a professor in the Department of Nutrition Metabolism and Rehabilitative Sciences and a clinical professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

“Dr. Southerland has led efforts at multiple institutions to transform the academic health sciences enterprise,” notes Dr. Steve Nelson, Interim Chancellor at LSU Health New Orleans. “She brings a proven record of success in aligning academic programs to best prepare the next generations of health professionals while promoting a culture of innovation, excellence, diversity and inclusion.”

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Dr. Southerland’s previous experience includes as a professor and Dean of Meharry School of Dentistry, where she also served as Chair of the Institutional Review Board and a Co-Investigator of the NIH-funded Meharry Translational Research Center and co-leader of two cores. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, she was the Chair of Hospital Dentistry, Chief of Oral Medicine, and Director of the Hospital Dental Clinic.

“My vision is to sustain and advance LSU Health New Orleans’ distinguished history as a leader in education, research, and clinical care in the state and globally,” says Dr. Southerland. “We will improve educational experiences for students, value for community partners, and care outcomes for patients. Helping future students acquire the knowledge and skill necessary to be competent and lead in a constantly changing health care environment while maintaining a compassionate touch is who we should aspire to be.”

Dr. Janet Southerland
Dr. Southerland earned a Doctorate in Dental Surgery, an MPH in Health Policy and Administration, and a PhD in Oral Biology, all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been funded by NIH, HRSA, the VA, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is widely published, has led transdisciplinary research and clinical teams, and has served with numerous national, regional and state professional, accreditation, editorial, and advisory organizations.

Adds Dr. Southerland, “Working with our administrators, students, faculty, and staff, our team will build outstanding programs across all disciplines that are grounded in collaborative, evidence-based educational models while using innovative technology to deliver high-quality training to students, research, and care to communities, particularly those in most need.”

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans (LSU Health New Orleans) educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's health sciences university leader, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine with campuses in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous annual economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment or cure disease. To learn more, visit,, or