2017 Gold Medal - Dr. David Cochran

For more than 40 years of service and an enduring imprint on the Academy and the specialty of periodontics, the AAP bestows the Gold Medal Award, its highest honor, on Dr. David Cochran. This devoted educator has held various academic appointments, most recently as the professor and chair of the Department of Periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, a position he’s held for 25 years. Prior to this, he ascended the ranks at the Medical College of Virginia (now known as the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine) from teaching assistant in 1975, to clinical instructor in 1981, to assistant professor in 1985, and finally to director of postgraduate periodontics from 1989 to 1992.

“Dr. Cochran has mentored many clinicians, researchers, and educators who have contributed greatly to our profession,” says Dr. Pamela K. McClain, one of 30 AAP members to nominate him for this award. “He also generously shares his expertise through continuing education courses at the AAP Annual Meeting as well as numerous national and international programs every year. Many individuals have benefitted from his shared knowledge and expertise.”

With more than 360 publications to his credit, Dr. Cochran has also had an illustrious career in research, which includes landmark reports on morphogenetic proteins and osseous regeneration. “His stellar accomplishments continue to this day as he uses his biochemical and clinical backgrounds to unlock the nature of peri-implantitis with the development of evidence-based treatment modalities,” Dr. McClain says.

A past president of the AAP, Dr. Cochran is also a longtime member of the American Association for Dental Research, the Texas Dental Association, and the Academy of Osseointegration in addition to many other groups where he has served on numerous committees and task forces. He adds to his Gold Medal decoration a 2013 Distinguished Scientist Award, 2007 William J. Gies Periodontology Award, two R. Earl Robinson Periodontal Regeneration Awards, and a 1999 Special Citation Award.

Dr. Cochran is a 1981 dental graduate of the Medical College of Virginia, where he completed his PhD in biochemistry the following year. In 1985, he earned a Master of Science degree in oral biology and a certificate in periodontology at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

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