John C. Keller
Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Education
Dean of the Graduate College
John Keller served as Interim Dean of the Graduate College and Interim Associate Provost for Graduate Education from July 2000 until his appointment as Dean and Associate Provost in April 2002. In addition to developing the academic programs housed in the Graduate College – the School of Library and Information Science and Urban and Regional Planning – he is also focusing on interdisciplinary education, fundraising to build a state-of-the art Graduate Education Center, developing annual giving among Graduate College alumni, supporting institutional research, and enhancing innovations, incentives, and opportunities for academic/research careers.
Dr. Keller was born in New York in 1952 and reared in the Chicago area. He earned his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from the University of Illinois. Dr Keller notes, “when I began graduate school at Northwestern University, I was ambivalent and had no idea what my path would be; then I worked as an entry-level lab grunt. I received unbelievable mentoring at Northwestern and completed my PhD by 1982.”
His first academic appointment was at the Medical University of South Carolina, where he taught from 1982-1988. His six years of biomaterials and dental research reinforced his commitment to the importance of research and graduate/professional academics.
In 1988, he came to the University of Iowa as Associate Professor. He now serves as director of the Biomaterials Research Program in the Iowa Institute for Oral Health Research and Professor of Biomaterial Engineering at Iowa and Iowa State University.
Since arriving, he has teamed with noted professor and pediatrician Jeffrey Murray, M.D., to secure a $10 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health. He serves as associate director of the project, which engages in comprehensive oral research devoted to craniofacial anomalies. His current work centers on cellular and tissue responses to implant materials, mechanisms of biomedical implant fixation, and surface characteristics of biomaterials and their effects on tissue reactions.
Since 1976, he has published more than 200 journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and abstracts and has been invited to lecture at universities and professional conferences across the United States.
Dean Keller is a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and of the Academy for Dental Materials. He continues to teach in the School of Dentistry, and directs both doctoral and master’s candidates.
He also served four years on the Board of Directors including president, of the American Association of Dental Research (AADR), the largest dental research organization in the United States.
About his plans to lead the Graduate College into the future Dean Keller observes, “As a biomaterials specialist, I push toward innovation, seeking to help people live better lives. As a member of the Graduate College, I seek to help our students secure the best education possible and to help them secure the best jobs possible, so that they can use their Iowa training to help people live better lives. I am honored to play a leadership role in graduate education at the University of Iowa and look forward to directing our efforts as we build graduate resources for students, faculty, and alumni.”
Dean Keller lives in Iowa City with his wife, Gail, and their three children.