The William D. Wagner Award, established in 2003, is presented annually to a person in the field of national and international worker health and safety who is an outstanding example of commitment and dedication to the creation and dissemination of occupational exposure values (OEVs). John Cocker, PhD is the 2020 recipient of the William D. Wagner Award.
Dr. Cocker is a retired Research Fellow of the UK Health & Safety Executive. He has 45 years of experience in biological monitoring and over 100 peer-reviewed publications. In 1973, he began working for the UK Employment Medical Advisory Service analyzing blood samples for lead. In 1974, the laboratory became the Occupational Medicine and Hygiene Laboratory, part of the newly formed UK Health & Safety Executive. Dr. Cocker was awarded an MSc in General Biochemistry from the University of London in 1976.
After a period in the drug metabolism department of a pharmaceutical company, Dr. Cocker returned to the Occupational Medicine and Hygiene Laboratory to research the metabolism and elimination of industrial aromatic amines and was awarded a PhD from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, University of London in 1988. From then until his partial retirement in 2013 he led a biological monitoring team of 7-9 graduates and postgraduates developing and applying new biological monitoring methods, conducting volunteer and workplace studies.
Dr. Cocker became a member of ACGIH® and joined the Biological Exposure Indices (BEI®) Committee in 2000. In 2015 Dr. Cocker was appointed to the European Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits. He was also a member of the Council of the British Occupational Hygiene Society and an occasional advisor to the World Health Organization. Dr. Cocker was an assistant editor for the Annals of Work Exposures and Health (formerly the Annals of Occupational Hygiene) and a passionate advocate of biological monitoring. Dr Cocker is also the 2017 recipient of the Stokinger Award, highlighting a career of service to the field.
ACGIH® is pleased to honor Dr. Cocker as the 2020 William D. Wagner Awardee.