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Mississippi Medical Center honors Cain with Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Lisa Cain holds her 2022 University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Lisa Cain has been named a 2022 recipient of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo by Brian Schnupp.

UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry Associate Dean for Professional Development and Faculty Affairs Lisa D. Cain, PhD, has been named the 2022 recipient of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was part of 5th Annual The Pillars: Recognition of Service and Inclusive Excellence, an event sponsored by the UMMC Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The Lifetime Achievement Award acknowledges an alumnus who has made a significant contribution to improving health outcomes in diverse communities in the state of Mississippi and beyond. The award was presented Jan. 26 in a private reception. A video of the 2022 Pillars honorees is available on YouTube.

“I’m very honored to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award,” Cain said. “It’s my desire to leave a legacy of service and love. This award recognizes the years that I provided opportunities for underrepresented and financially disabled students to prepare for medical school, graduate school, and other health professional careers. It recognizes my prior efforts in creating collaborative opportunities in education and research in Africa and it recognizes my current initiatives in supporting diversity, inclusion, and equity on a local, regional, national, and international level. This award provides me with additional motivation to continue helping others to achieve their dreams and to continue promoting the importance of diversity and inclusivity so that the talents of all can be rendered visible.”

Cain, who serves as a professor in the School of Dentistry’s Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences and an adjunct professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at McGovern Medical School, has been involved in academic health care education for over 30 years.

At the university level, Cain is a member of the UTHealth Houston Executive Compliance Committee and a co-director of the Health Educators Fellowship Program, which includes faculty members from all six UTHealth schools. She is also dedicated to diversity and inclusion, serving as the one of UTHealth’s diversity champions and as a member of School of Dentistry’s diversity team. Nationally, she is a liaison to the American Association of Medical Colleges Group on Diversity and Inclusion for the AAMC Group on Faculty Affairs, where she currently serves as chair-elect of the GFA and chair of the Communications Committee.

The Mississippi native was recruited to UTHealth Houston and the School of Dentistry in 2017 after 25 years at UT Medical Branch in Galveston, where she was an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, director of the Medical School Enrichment Programs, and assistant dean for faculty affairs and professional development. Due to her work in medical and graduate education, she received a Regents Outstanding Teaching Award from UT System in 2015, along with the title of “Distinguished Teaching Professor.”

Cain’s work in faculty affairs and professional development has included chairing the UTMB Faculty Senate and co-chairing the Health Affairs Committee of the UT System Faculty Affairs Council. She is a women liaison officer for the School of Dentistry to the American Dental Education Association and a member of the ADEA Women in Leadership Section, where she serves as co-chair of the Leadership Development Component of the Women in Leadership Section. She is also co-chair of the ADEA 2024 International Women Leadership Conference.

Cain has been a principal investigator for a Health Resources and Services Administration Faculty Loan Repayment Grant, and she has expertise with issues related to appointment, promotion, and tenure, as well as annual faculty and chair evaluations.

Cain organized and founded the Texas Consortium for Faculty Success in 2016, which consists of 14 Texas health science institutions and 28 faculty affairs/faculty development administrators.

A certified executive leadership coach and internationally known as an educational consultant, she is an artist who brings her love for art and the humanities into the educational arena. Cain’s teaching style is centered on the concept that in addition to providing students with knowledge, it is important to show them how to enjoy the process of learning.

She holds a bachelor’s of science degree in biology from the Honors College at Jackson State University. Cain earned a doctorate in anatomy from UMMC School of Graduate Studies in Health Sciences and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience research at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. Cain is also a graduate of the UTMB Scholars in Education Program.

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