American Academy Of Periodontology Announces 2020 Award Winners

Member achievements and contributions recognized during AAP’s 106th Annual Meeting

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) recently awarded members for outstanding contributions and accomplishments within the Academy and the specialty of periodontics. The recipients were honored during the AAP’s 106th Annual Meeting, which was held virtually November 6-15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gold Medal: The Academy awarded its highest honor to Donald Clem III, DDS. Dr. Clem has served the periodontics profession for the past 40 years as a tireless clinician, passionate advocate, and pioneering thought-leader. His vast contributions to the Academy include being only the fifth person to serve as president of the AAP, president of the AAP Foundation, and chairperson of the American Board of Periodontology. Other key Academy positions he has held include trustee of the AAP, director of the AAP Foundation, member and Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, Editorial Board member of the Journal of Periodontology, and chairperson of Interactive Clinics, the Annual Meeting General Session, and the Regeneration Conference. In total, Dr. Clem has served in over 80 roles – including chairing multiple committees – on behalf of the AAP, the AAP Foundation, and the Journal of Periodontology. The Academy has previously honored Dr. Clem with the Clinical Research Award, the R. Earl Robinson Periodontal Regeneration Award, and four Special Citations. A visionary advocate for his profession, Dr. Clem has focused much effort and passion on developing and establishing periodontists’ expertise in surgical implant dentistry and cultivating stronger relationships between the general dentist and the periodontist.

Master Clinician: The recipient of the Academy’s Master Clinician Award, Pamela McClain, DDS is legendary both for her clinical skills and for her expertise in the field of osseointegration. She is the only five-time winner of the AAP’s prestigious R. Earl Robinson Periodontal Regeneration Award and a past recipient of Academy’s Distinguished Service Award. In addition to serving the AAP as president and vice president over the years, Dr. McClain has managed 13 major clinical studies and authored or co-authored 25 professional articles and book chapters. She has given 98 professional presentations given around the globe,  many of which have focused on improving outcomes of periodontal regeneration procedures through procedural changes and the use of biologics. Thanks to Dr. McClain’s visionary leadership of the AAP Regeneration Workshop, periodontics now has a large body of current evidence on root coverage, enhancing soft tissue, osseous regeneration, furcation regeneration, and emerging regenerative technologies.

Distinguished Service: The Distinguished Service Award for 2020 is the latest honor bestowed upon Wayne Aldredge, DMD. A past president of the AAP, Dr. Aldredge has served as chair of the Task Force on Dental Hygiene Engagement, a trustee on five committees, and a member of numerous other committees and task forces. While AAP president, Dr. Aldredge oversaw the enhancement of the Academy’s vision, mission and values statements, the implementation of strategic budgetary constraints, an enhanced plan for broad professional outreach, the development of novel goals for private practice and dental education enhancements, and an increased emphasis on initiatives in dental implantology. As a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, he was a leading force in changing the Diplomate certificate to provide certification in “Periodontology and Dental Implant Surgery.” Dr. Aldredge was also the Academy’s first representative to the new ADA National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards.

Outstanding Periodontal Educator: The Academy’s Outstanding Periodontal Educator for 2020, Vincent Iacono, DMD is a true icon in the field of periodontal education. He is also a past winner of the AAP’s Gold Star and Presidential Awards and a past president and secretarytreasurer of the AAP. Dr. Iacono is the Tarrson Family Professor of Periodontology and chair of the Department of Periodontology in the School of Dental Medicine at Stony Brook University, where he has taught since 1974. After building an outstanding reputation as a pre-doctoral periodontal educator, he established the school’s Advanced Specialty Education Program in Periodontics in 1991. Renowned for his passion for his profession and his compassion for his students, Dr. Iacono is beloved for his willingness to devote his evenings and weekends to mentoring undergraduates, residents and even faculty. During the course of his illustrious career, Dr. Iacono has also received 52 funded research grants.

H. Dalton Conner Humanitarian: The Academy’s 2020 winner of the H. Dalton Conner Humanitarian Award, Othman Shibly, DDS has had a profound impact on the health of tens of thousands of refugees and other people in need around the world. A past recipient of the AAP’s Dental Educator Award and a native of Syria, Dr. Shibly founded the Miles for Smiles program in 2011 to provide oral health for refugees and internally displaced persons in Syria and six other countries. He has since led 16 Miles for Smiles missions. To make year-round care possible, Dr. Shibly forged strategic partnerships with industry, NGOs and academia to construct and operate two fully equipped dental clinics in refugee camps in Turkey and a third to treat the Yezidi internally displaced population in Kurdistan. The clinics now have adequate funding to employ several dentists and healthcare workers to provide free dental care as needed on a daily basis.

Honorary Membership: The Academy has chosen to recognize Giovanni Zucchelli, DDS, PhD with an Honorary Membership. Dean of the Department of Periodontology at the Bologna University School of Dentistry in Italy, Dr. Zucchelli has twice been awarded the E. Bud Tarrson Research Award in Oral Plastic Surgery by the AAP Foundation. He is the incoming president of the Italian Academy of Osteointegration and president of the European Academy of Esthetic  Dentistry. Dr. Zucchelli’s research work has highlighted the periodontal profession’s ability to reconstruct the esthetic appearance through a variety of periodontal plastic surgery procedures. A past winner of the Henry M. Goldman Prize for clinical research, Dr. Zucchelli has authored or co-authored five books and over 90 scientific articles. He has also delivered over 110 plenary lectures, sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Periodontology and several other journals, and holds visiting professorships at several dental schools around the world.

Special Citation: In recognition of their work as the co-chairs of the Academy’s Continuing Education Oversight Committee (CEOC), the Special Citation Award was presented to E. Todd Scheyer, DDS, MS and Barry Wagenberg, DMD. Drs. Scheyer and Wagenberg have served the Academy as co-chairs of the CEOC for a combined total of 55 years. Under their leadership, the CEOC has overseen the expansion of continuing education opportunities for AAP member periodontists. Moreover, they have provided innovative opportunities to leverage the Academy’s interaction with international periodontal association partners, dental hygiene practitioners, students and new periodontist groups.

R. Earl Robinson Regeneration: Sponsored by the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation to recognize an outstanding recent scientific article about periodontal regeneration in the basic and clinical sciences, the R. Earl Robinson Regeneration Award was presented to co-authors Dr. Peter Eickholz, Dr. Erik Neukranz, Dr. Katrin Nickles, Dr. Hari Petsos, Dr. Peter Raetzke, and Dr. Petra Ratka-Krüger. Their article, “Intrabony defects 20 years after open flap debridement and guided tissue regeneration,” was published in the May 2019 issue of the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Clinical Research: Sponsored by Quintessence Publishing, this award recognizes an outstanding recent scientific article with direct clinical reference to periodontics. For their article, “Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors,” which was published in the January 2019 issue of Science Advances, the Academy recognized co-senior authors Stephen S. Dominy, Casey Lynch and Jan Potempa, and co-authors Karina Adamowicz, Shirin Arastu-Kapur, Malgorzata Benedyk, Maurice A. Curtis, Florian Ermini, Richard L. M. Faull, Christina Griffin, Ursula Haditsch, Hatice Hasturk, Annelie Hellvard, Leslie J. Holsinger, Samer Kaba, Andrei Konradi, Alexander Lee, Agata Marczyk, Piotr Mydel, Mai Nguyen, Barbara Potempa, Debasish Raha, Eric C. Reynolds, Mark I. Ryder and Glenn D. Walker.

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About the American Academy of Periodontology:

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) is the leading professional association of periodontists, dentistry’s experts in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gum disease and in the placement and maintenance of dental implants. AAP members are dedicated to supporting the optimal oral and overall health and excellent quality of life for their patients through exceptional periodontal care. Periodontists receive three years of additional training  following dental school to hone their clinical, surgical, and anatomical skills. Periodontics is one of the twelve recognized specialties of the American Dental Association (ADA).