Eastman Institute Professor Awarded Golden Medallion

Oct. 30, 2014
Dr. Gerald Graser

Eastman Institute for Oral Health professor Gerald Graser, D.D.S., M.S., has been named the 2015 recipient of the American Prosthodontics Society’s highest honor, the Golden Medallion Award, for his outstanding service and contributions to the dental profession and prosthodontics.        “His leadership, dedication and experience have inspired his students for years,” said Konstantinos Chochlidakis, D.D.S., assistant professor in the Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University, and a 2013 graduate of the EIOH program. “Dr. Graser displays the most fundamental traits of ethical behavior, hardworking attitude and team-building character.” 
        The award especially recognizes leadership, service to the profession and the APS, teaching and research at academic and continuing education levels, and promotion of excellence in Prosthodontics at a national and international level.        “Jerry Graser is my greatest role model,” said Carlo Ercoli, D.D.S. (Prostho ‘96) who replaced Dr. Graser as chair and program director of the EIOH Prosthodontic Division. “He believed in me as a young applicant, and has always supported me in my career as a young faculty, and now as a colleague.”
        “From the time I first met Dr. Graser, he not only taught me clinical and technical prosthodontics, but he taught me how to treat people,” Izchak Barzilay, D.D.S., M.S., a 1986 graduate of the program and who runs a successful practice in Toronto. “This was not only how to treat patients, but how to treat my fellow co-workers, my staff, my friends and all those around me. I used him as an example for most things that I did. He has had such a huge impact on so many people, but he has done it in such a gentle way—he’s a true gentle giant.”        After earning his dental degree at State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dentistry, Graser earned his prosthodontics certificate at Eastman Dental in 1972, followed by his master’s degree from the University of Rochester in 1975. He is a former president of the APS, the Academy of Osseointegration, and the Academy of Prosthodontics. He is a fellow of numerous professional organizations including the American College of Prosthodontists, The American College of Dentists, The International Team of Implantology, the Society for Geriatric Dentistry and The Pierre Fauchard Academy. He has published and lectured extensively about overdentures, dental materials and osseointegrated dental implants. He served as chairman and program director of the EIOH Prosthodontics Division from 1977 to 2006 and program director from 1977 to 2001, before passing the baton to Dr. Ercoli. He continues to teach part time at EIOH.
        “Dr. Graser exemplifies the spirit of excellence that Eastman Institute for Oral Health embodies,” said EIOH Director Eli Eliav, DMD, PhD. “The positive impact he’s had on our residents and on our program is immeasurable. We are very grateful for his contributions past and present and congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”        Dr. Chochlidakis said that Dr. Graser’s approach to teaching was so effective, that it inspired him and many other EIOH Prosthodontic graduates to pursue academic careers. To that end, the Graser Fellowship Fund was established at EIOH in 2003 to pay tribute to Dr. Graser’s legacy and to address shortages of dental school faculty. The Fellowship helps those who are interested in pursuing a dental academic or administrative position within the Prosthodontic dental specialty. 
        Dr. Graser will receive his award at the 87th annual meeting of the American Prosthodontic Society being held in Chicago February 26-27.         For the full story and photos, visit