Shannon Wallet, Ph.D., returns to the UF College of Dentistry on August 1, 2022, as a professor and chair of the Department of Oral Biology, and as the Louis and Marge Atkins Endowed Professor.
“I know I am not alone in being very pleased to welcome Dr. Wallet back to our college and to UF. Her arrival coincides with an important phase of our college as we prepare for our next accreditation site visit and our Oral Biology department is a large and important part of our overall research success,” Dean A. Isabel Garcia, D.D.S., M.P.H., said.
Wallet takes the chair position over from Mary Ellen Davey, Ph.D., who has done a wonderful job serving as interim chair of oral biology for us since January 2020, and led the department’s personnel with a steady hand that ensured the research efforts continued to flourish despite the unexpected challenges, Garcia said.
After 12 years in various roles with UFCD, Wallet was the associate dean for faculty affairs when she left in 2018 for a position in the Department of Foundational Sciences at the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine. She became the director of basic science and served as interim chair of foundational sciences at ECU, before leaving in 2019 to serve as the associate dean for research and director of the Clinical Research Unit for the Adams School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently, Wallet is also the interim chair for the Division of Oral and Craniofacial Health Sciences, a position she’s held since August 2019.
Wallet holds a bachelor’s in medical technology from North Carolina State University and a degree in clinical laboratory science from Duke University. She earned her doctorate in oral biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 and joined UF in 2006 as a tenure-accruing assistant professor in the department of periodontology. She was promoted to associate professor and was awarded tenure in July 2013.
In addition to her administrative duties as a department chair, Wallet will be teaching dental students and residents in basic sciences; she was voted UFCD’s basic sciences teacher of the year in 2015 and 2018.
Wallet will also continue her research efforts which are focused on mechanisms associated with altered innate immune functions which lead to dysregulated adaptive immunity. Her current research program focuses on the contribution of epithelial cell biology and signaling to innate and adaptive immune homeostasis and dysfunction. Using novel and unique tools, her team is able to evaluate their findings in the human conditions which makes translation of their findings more feasible.