Mary Guinan

Founding Dean, School of Public Health
Expertise: Community health, Sexually transmitted disease, Epidemics, Infectious disease


Mary Guinan is the founding dean of the School of Public Health at UNLV. She is a physician/scientist and a professor of epidemiology and community health. She was among the first scientists in America to identify the emerging AIDS cases of the 1980s as part of an epidemic and has been a leading researcher and educator on sexually transmitted diseases for more than 30 years. 

Working extensively to improve the health of all Nevadans, Guinan led an exhaustive study of the childhood leukemia cluster, which affected the rural Nevada town of Fallon. She also played a substantial role in getting Clark County's water supply fluoridated.

During her 20-year career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), she became the first woman to serve as chief scientific advisor to the director of the CDC.

As founding dean of the School of Community Health Sciences, Guinan is passionate about public health. Her complex mission involves working in a network with local, state, and federal health authorities, conducting scientific research, eliminating health gaps between socioeconomic and ethnic groups, and providing quality education for students and the public.

Board Certification

Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, 1977, and the subspecialty Infectious Diseases, 1978.

American Board Preventive Medicine and Public Health, 1999.

Professional Honor

Elected to Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in 1981 for excellence in research.


  • B.A., Hunter College, City University of New York
  • M.D., Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Ph.D., Physiology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas