Two Eastman Alumni Win Major Awards

Oct. 10, 2016

Dr. Jack Caton- Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Caton accepting award from Wayne AldredgeFor his continued service to the Academy and unwavering commitment to the specialty of periodontics, Dr. Jack G. Caton, researcher, educator, and clinician, is being presented with the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the American Academy of Periodontology. In addition to maintaining a periodontics practice in Rochester, NY, Dr. Caton is a professor at the University of Rochester’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health. “Throughout the years, Dr. Caton has been the guiding light in periodontics for leadership, education, advocacy, and research,” says Dr. Jon Otomo-Corgel, immediate past president of the AAP. “Dr. Caton is widely trusted and esteemed for his skills in managing issues that are at the forefront of the specialty, and related to areas that require diplomacy and strong, respected leadership.”

In addition to being a past president of both the Academy and the AAP Foundation, Dr. Caton currently serves as the co-chair of the 2017 World Workshop on the Classification of Periodontal and Peri-Implant Diseases. A former associate editor of the Journal of Periodontology, Dr. Caton has also served on the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation, which develops and administers the standards of dental training programs across the country. He is past co-chairman of the American Board of Periodontology. His extensive research has been published in more than 110 scientific articles and book chapters.

Dr. Caton with residentsIn addition to this most recent distinction, Dr. Caton is the 2004 AAP Gold Medal Award recipient, the highest honor bestowed upon an AAP member. He is also a recipient of the Academy’s Outstanding Periodontal Educator Award, Special Citation Award, William J. Gies Award, and a 2005 R. Earl Robinson Regeneration Award for his role in a study about regenerative periodontal therapy. The American Dental Association presented Dr. Caton with the Norton M. Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research in 2008.

“Although he has received multiple awards, including the AAP’s Gold Medal, Jack continues to serve our Academy above and beyond,” says Dr. Otomo-Corgel. “It is a privilege to call Dr. Caton a mentor and friend. It is time that we continue to recognize his longstanding, distinguished service with this award.”

Dr. Martha J. Somerman – Distinguished Scientist Award

Dr. Martha SomermanThe Distinguished Scientist Award is presented to an Academy member who has contributed to the basic and clinical science of periodontology through published literature and education. Dr. Martha J. Somerman, director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is the 2016 AAP Distinguished Scientist honoree. For more than 35 years, Dr. Somerman’s contributions to research and learning have driven the advancement of periodontal care, specifically in the areas of periodontal regeneration, with a focus on identifying the key drivers of cementogenesis.

In addition to serving as chief investigator at the National Institute of Health’s Laboratory of Oral Connective Tissue Biology, she is a senior advisor at the NIH Clinical Center, where she plays a key role in setting the vision for clinical research programs related to the dental, oral an craniofacial complex. Her clinical research investigates how rare conditions associated with altered inflammatory responses and disruptive mineralized tissue function affect the periodontium.

Prior to entering her leadership role at the NIDCR- the nation’s top supporter of dental, oral, and craniofacial research – in 2011, Dr. Somerman was the dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry. “Her commitment and dedication to mentoring the next generation of scientists have transformed the workforce and the future of dental science” says Dr. Yong-Hee Patricia Chun, who, along with 2015 Distinguished Scientist honoree Dr. Laurie McCauley, nominated Dr. Somerman for this award. From 1991 to 2002, Dr. Somerman served as professor and chair of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s Department of Periodontics, Prevention and Geriatrics. During this time, Dr. Somerman provided research opportunities to a number of students, providing support and guidance to emerging scientists and practitioners. “Many of her over 130 mentees are now in leadership roles around the world,” Dr. Chun says. “It is clear: Dr. Somerman’s impact will be deep and long-lasting in our profession.”

In addition to serving on various committees, advisory boards, and as a journal editor, Dr. Somerman’s work has been published in more than 190 peer-reviewed journals, 17 book chapters, and three books. The Brooklyn native is a past president of the American Association of Dental Research and the 2011 recipient of the Paul Goldhaber Award from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.