Announcing the 2020 Winners of the Kumar Patel Prize in Laser Surgery

The American Laser Study Club (ALSC) awards the 2020 Kumar Patel Prize in Laser Surgery to the following highly accomplished and respected laser surgery educators:

  • Martin Kaplan, DMD, for his outstanding contribution to pediatric dental laser surgery education;
  • David Duclos, DVM, DACVD, for his outstanding contributions to veterinary dermatological laser surgery education, and for the development of the CO2 laser surgical treatment of canine pododermatitis.

The award ceremony will take place on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at the American Laser Study Club 3rd Annual Symposium in Delray Beach, FL, USA. More information can be found at

About the Kumar Patel Laser Surgery Prize

The American Laser Study Club established the Kumar Patel Prize in Laser Surgery in 2018. The prize is awarded annually at the ALSC Annual Symposia based on the merits of the recipient’s contribution to the science, education, and/or practice of laser surgery.

The ALSC awarded the 2018 Kumar Patel Prize to Dr. Patel himself for his invention of the CO2 laser in 1964. The CO2 laser’s ability to precisely vaporize one cell layer at a time, due to its excellent absorption by histological water, and its unique ability to delicately coagulate blood capillaries are just some of the features that make the CO2 laser the gold standard of surgical lasers. 

In 2019, the Kumar Patel Laser Surgery Prize was awarded to Robert A. Strauss, DDS, MD; John C. Godbold Jr., DVM; and Warren B. Seiler, MD.

About Martin Kaplan, DMD

Dr. Kaplan earned his dental degree at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 1975. While attending dental school, he became involved with pediatric dentistry and was captivated by the comprehensive nature of the specialty and the ability to treat the youngest of patients and direct them to better oral and physical health.

Upon graduating from Tufts he was accepted into a pediatric dental residency program at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in New York where he received his certification as a pediatric dentist.

Following the residency, he opened his pediatric dental practice in Stoughton, Massachusetts. In 2003, Dr. Kaplan became an early adopter of the soft and hard tissue dental lasers. He has been a volunteer laser instructor at Tufts Dental School in the post-graduate pediatric dental department. During 2015-2017 he developed the first in the country “Pediatric Laser Frenectomy” training class through the continuing education departments at Tufts University and Boston University. Dr. Kaplan continues to teach his program now through the American Laser Study Club. His courses were attended by thousands of dentists and physicians from around the globe.

Dr. Kaplan is a member of the American Dental Association, Massachusetts Dental Society, the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, Breastfeeding USA plus multiple other professional organizations, including the American Laser Study Club. Dr. Kaplan has authored several articles and book chapters both dental and breastfeeding related.

About David Duclos, DVM, DACVD

Dr. Duclos received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry from St. Martin’s College, in Lacey, Washington, and received his professional training at the School of Veterinary Medicine, WSU, and his degree in Veterinary Medicine (Cum Laude) from Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington. After graduation, he was engaged in private clinical practice in Forks, Washington, before going to the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, for his dermatology residency. After residency, he attained board-certification status, and in 1991, moved back to the Northwest to become the owner of the Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic, near Mill Creek, Washington.

In addition to his duties as a specialist in the dermatology practice, Dr. Duclos contributed to the advancement of the specialty of veterinary dermatology by writing many articles, book chapters, and scientific papers on various subjects in the specialty of veterinary dermatology. He also gives continuing education lectures to veterinarians and their staff in the local Pacific Northwest region, as well as in other areas of the United States, Canada, and Europe. Dr. Duclos is well known in the veterinary dermatology specialty for his expertise in CO2 laser surgery and for his interest in clinical photography. Many veterinary dermatologists use his photographs in their lectures and publications.

Dr. Duclos is also known for his discovery of interdigital follicular cysts as one of the causes of pododermatitis in dogs. He developed a special procedure using the CO2 laser, which can cure the cause of this condition in affected dogs. He has published several papers and given many veterinarians hands-on training in surgical laser techniques used in the treatment of canine pododermatitis. 

About the American Laser Study Club

The ALSC was founded in 2017 to fill the void in the current laser dentistry and laser surgery education system, namely to elucidate the science behind laser-tissue interaction. The Mission and Vision of the ALSC are to promote Science-Based Laser Surgery, Dentistry and Safety Education. The ALSC helps Physicians, Dentists, Veterinarians, and Practice Staff Members to excel at the efficient and safe application of laser energy in everyday practice. Learn more at