Appointments, Faculty and Staff, Prosthodontics

Cooper Is New Chair of Prosthodontics

Dr. Lyndon Cooper is the new chairman of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry’s Department of Prosthodontics.

Cooper, a faculty member in the School of Dentistry since 1993, also is the Stallings distinguished professor of dentistry within the Department of Prosthodontics. He directs Graduate Prosthodontics and the Bone Biology and Implant Therapy Laboratory.

Dr. Thomas Ziemiecki, an associate professor of prosthodontics, had previously served as interim chair of the department.

Dean John N. Williams said Cooper’s leadership would help the department strengthen its national and international prominence in prosthodontics, particularly within research and patient care.

“Dr. Cooper is committed to ensuring our School’s continued excellence within prosthodontics,” Williams said. “Through his extensive patient-directed and NIH-funded research, his hands-on national leadership and his mentorship of the next generation of prosthodontists, he is demonstrating his commitment to the ways this field can improve the quality of human life.”

Williams added that Cooper also had innovative ideas related to revising the prosthodontic curriculum to reflect emerging research and new technologies.

The School of Dentistry and the American College of Prosthodontists Education Foundation (ACPEF) recently hosted a national symposium to investigate emerging digital technologies in prosthodontics, and Cooper organized the event. This event brought together more than 50 prosthodontists and industry leaders to discuss topics as diverse as technology transfer within dental school and private practice settings; leading research needs; the role of digital diagnostics in prosthodontics; and the most appropriate means of storage, management and sharing of digital data.

A year earlier, in January 2007, Cooper organized a national symposium at which oral health research leaders discussed the best ways to advance patient-directed prosthodontic discovery. The Chapel Hill event, co-sponsored by the School of Dentistry and the ACPEF, featured 15 presentations by deans, chairs and academic, military and corporate investigators from throughout the United States and Canada.

Cooper is a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics and is the vice president of the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) Board of Directors. He is the chairman of the ACPEF’s “Vision 2012: Brilliant Futures” campaign. The “Vision 2012” goals are to lead efforts to advance prosthodontics and its research and education, specifically; and to fund educational curriculum innovation and reform initiatives.

He received the ACP’s 2004 Clinician/Researcher Award.

Cooper’s laboratory focuses on bone biology, adult stem cell bone regeneration and clinical evaluation of dental implant therapies. The laboratory’s current investigation of the role of inflammatory signaling on stem cell differentiation to bone forming cells is supported by a five-year National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research grant.  The research group’s study findings have been featured in more than 70 publications and in more than 200 national and international presentations.