Frank Cockerill

Research and Development

Clinical Microbiology

Frank Cockerill is the past chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, and practiced Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases for over a decade before shifting his focus to Clinical Microbiology. His research interests range from basic discovery to applied science.

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Frank Cockerill: Molecular Biology Fellowship

Frank Cockerill served two terms as Chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He received part of his medical training at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, part of a broad-based education he had as a young medical student.

He received his MD from the University of Nebraska medical school in 1977 and went on to do a surgical internship at the Pensacola Educational Program at the University of Florida from 1977 to 1978. After his Residency in Internal Medicine and a year-long Fellowship in Infectious Diseases, both at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, he did a Residency in Clinical Microbiology at the University of Toronto, and in 1989 received a Fellowship in Molecular Biology at the University of Toronto's Mount Sinai Research Institute.

The Fellowship at the Mount Sinai Research Institute was a feather in the cap for Frank Cockerill. IT is one of the world's leading biomedical research institutes, one that is committed to excellence in discovery, translation, and application of health research, and to the training of future microbiologists. He emerged from that experience as one of the most promising researchers of the day. "I am an internationally recognized microbiologist," he observes.

Frank Cockerill went on to practice Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases for many years before shifting his focus exclusively to Clinical Microbiology. In late 2001 he made a significant contribution to the public health by leading a team that developed a rapid diagnostic test to identify anthrax in human and environmental samples, during anthrax attacks in the fall of that year. For that work he was recognized with the Mayo Excellence Through Teamwork Award.

Frank Cockerill: Reagan Appointee

Frank Cockerill is a leading microbiologist who, for most of his professional life, was associated with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He has earned international recognition as a leader in his field, and in 1987 was tapped by then-President Ronald Reagan to sit on a newly-formed panel to investigate the AIDS epidemic.

Known formally as the President's Commission on the HIV Epidemic, the blue-ribbon panel was chaired by James D. Watson to "to investigate the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the resultant acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the United States." The advisory commission was directed to "advise the President, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and other relevant Cabinet heads on the public health dangers including the medical, legal, ethical, social, and economic impact, from the spread of the HIV and resulting illnesses including AIDS, AIDS-related complex, and other related conditions," according to Executive Order 12601, which established it.


Frank Cockerill served as a Deputy Director to the panel, which issued a Final Report in 1987 which, among some five hundred recommendations, called for aggressive biomedical research into HIV infection.

AIDS activists later criticized President Reagan for waiting so long to do something about AIDS. By the time he established the Commission, some twenty thousand people had already died from the disease.

Today, research into the HIV virus continues, with researchers attempting to prevent, treat, or cure the disease. New research is also attempting to learn something of the nature of HIV as an infectious agent.

Conserving Water

Frank Cockerill is a Clinical Microbiologist who has been associated with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for many years. His research interests have ranged from basic discovery to applied science, and he has published widely in many medical and scientific journals.

His many outside interests include reading about environmental issues, including water. As he knows, the facts about water can be quite alarming. Many experts are warning that up to half of the world's population is facing possible water shortages in the next twenty years. They are also saying that it is important to act now to begin conserving water.

The global demands for water are great, as Frank Cockerill knows. As one of the basic building blocks of life, it affects virtually everything. Solutions such as the building of dams, reservoirs, and other types of infrastructure to meet the global demands for water only go so far. Some experts advocate the integration of natural solutions, along with the implementation of best practices in agricultural management, can help to meet the challenges of the future.

At present, as Frank Cockerill knows, nearly three and a half million people die every year due to some kind of water-related issue, from unsanitary drinking water to hygiene-related causes. Most of these deaths occur in the developing world. Children are among the hardest-hit sector of the world's population, and by way of illustration, authorities say that the number of children who die from lack of access to clean water and sanitation is equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every four hours. The shocking truth is that more people today own a cell phone than they do a toilet.

Frank Cockerill - The Med City Marathon

Frank Cockerill is an internationally recognized microbiologist who lives and works in Rochester, Minnesota. He spent most of his professional life at the Mayo Clinic where he served in many leadership capacities, including two terms as Chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.

In his spare time, Frank Cockerill has many interests apart from looking into his microscope. He enjoys playing the piano and gardening, and in the past has run in ten Med City Marathons.

The Med City Marathon is an increasingly popular event in Rochester, Minnesota. The 2015 marathon, scheduled for May 23 and 24, marks its twentieth anniversary. There was a record turnout for the 2014 event, and organizers say that between its growing popularity and the high water mark of a twentieth anniversary, the 2015 installment could be the biggest and best ever.

As Frank Cockerill knows, it is an enormous accomplishment just to finish a marathon, which is a classic, 26.2 mile running event. He says that training to run in a marathon is a challenge, but that there are ways to make it enjoyable. He says that in his experience, most people who are in generally good health should be able to finish a marathon, even if they are beginning runners.

One of the most important things to running a marathon is developing mental stamina, he says. It may even be half the battle. It's one thing, Frank Cockerill says, to be motivated enough to start training, but it's quite another to keep up with the training, and to crossing the finish line on race day.

Even before starting training for a marathon, Frank Cockerill says runners should be able to run for at least half an hour without stopping. All your training for a marathon will build on that. He advises runners to set realistic goals, train properly, have good gear, and to remember that it's supposed to be fun.

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Frank Cockerill - A Brief Biography

Frank Cockerill is a leading microbiologist in the world. His work over the course of his career has made strides in the medical and research sides of science. His contributions have not gone unnoticed, as he is a member of numerous societies and boards.

He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and American Academy of Microbiology. He presently serves or recently has served on the board of the American Clinical Laboratory Association, Board of Scientific Counselors for theCenters for Diseases Control, and Association for Molecular Pathology. Frank Cockerill is also a member of the American Society for Microbiology, Association for Molecular Pathology, Sigma Xi, Alpha Omega Alpha, and Infectious Diseases Society of America.

As is evidenced by his track record, he is exceptionally adept at leading and evolving a major laboratory testing company, being the chair of an academic department, or leading innovation in the area of diagnostic testing for a company. He recently accepted the Frost and Sullivan Award in Boston on behalf of Mayo Medical Laboratories for best laboratory business plan.

Frank Cockerill also has many hobbies outside of the medical field. He enjoys playing the piano, running in marathons, gardening, farming, medical missionary work and reading about world history. Among his various interests are preserving the aquifers, the environment, animal rescue, world history, and traveling. It is easy to see that Frank Cockerill is a very well-rounded man who enjoys putting his brilliant mind to use. He is a man who has a thirst for knowledge, and he truly believes that knowledge is useless unless it is put to good use.

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Frank Cockerill - The Relaxation of Travel

Frank Cockerill is a distinguished microbiologist and pathologist. He has a long list of professional accolades, including fellowships in the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and American Academy of Microbiology. Recently, as CEO of and behalf of Mayo Medical Laboratories he accepted the Frost and Sullivan Award in Boston, recognizing the successful laboratory business plan of this for profit laboratory testing company. . He also is the recipient of the Becton Dickinson (BD) Award in Clinical Microbiology, an award presented by the American Society for Microbiology which recognizes the top clinical microbiologists in the world.

As is evident, Frank Cockerill has many responsibilities in his professional career and is looked upon to be a source of energy, focus, and excellence. To help maintain his energy and focus, he engages in a wide array of personal activities that help him unwind from one day and prepare for the next. These activities include playing the piano, running in marathons (he has run in ten consecutive Med City Marathons in Rochester, Minnesota), gardening, farming, medical missionary work, and reading about world history. Another one of his favorite activities is traveling.

Frank Cockerill loves traveling because it allows him an opportunity to experience new cultures and delicacies from around the world. Traveling helps broaden a person's perspective, which allows them to see eye to eye with more people, and on more issues. Another reason Frank Cockerill loves traveling is that it gives him a break from his professional duties. It gives him an opportunity to step out of his routine and enjoy life from a different perspective. Frank Cockerill is extremely grateful for how his professional career has allowed him to travel the world.

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Frank Cockerill - Peer Reviewed Journals

Frank Cockerill is a veteran microbiologist who enjoyed a long association with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infection Diseases and in Clinical Microbiology, and practiced Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases for more than ten years for shifting his focus to Clinical Microbiology.

He has written or co-written many peer-reviewed articles, with such titles as “Traveling Toothpicks” and “Open Lung Biopsy In Immunocompromised Patients.” This work has appeared in the medical literature. He understands that the peer-review process is an important aspect of the scientific process, and for advancing the existing body of scientific knowledge. As Frank Cockerill knows, the process means that authors of articles, such as himself, submit their work to research journals. The journal’s editors and other peer reviewers analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the submission, and make revisions as appropriate, based on the peer feedback. Ultimately the work is published in a print or online journal. This work provides the credit and gravitas the writers need for promotions, grants, and recognition within the scientific community.

As Frank Cockerill knows, the need for peer review experts from different disciplines has grown, as research becomes more complex and multi-disciplinary. Each review expert provides different experiences and authority to the review process. Peer review is a lot like getting a second opinion on a doctor’s diagnosis. It can be a demanding, and at times aggravating process, but it can be very rewarding, too. And the end result can be a significant contribution to the author’s scientific field.