Director of Research
Director of Research: Matt Cochran, DVM, MIA
As Research Director, Dr. Cochran provides guidance and vision to the Research Portfolio by understanding scientific requirements in the context of DHS operational needs, performing technology scouting, delivering program management, and continuing to expand a relevant network of scientists, researchers, and experts for CBTS and DHS. Leading the research portfolio, he works to link operational realities to research and expertise on supply chain defense, emerging tools and technologies, and definition of risk. Given fast paced cross-border and supply chain security changes and challenges, Dr. Cochran sets roadmap goals for research with a translation terminus in sight, so that stakeholders can perceive relevance to their missions. He works to align project subject and direction for DHS stakeholder needs while drawing reference parallels with ongoing digital transformation trajectories in the private and public sectors, geopolitical and economic changes that affect trade and supply chains, and risks to people and systems.
He previously served as Program Director for the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD), an emeritus DHS Center of Excellence. In that role, he led and managed a signature, national biosurveillance project, as well as work focused on application of emerging technologies in the high containment laboratory setting. Previous to his work at IIAD, Dr. Cochran served as Assistant Agency Director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, with responsibility for operations oversight of the 4-laboratory network. Based at the flagship laboratory in College Station, he ran the Diagnostic Services section, was responsible for the IT team, and had oversight over one half of the College Station laboratory diagnostic testing sections. He ensured case completion and linkage of multiple laboratory disciplines for continuity and interpretation. Responsibilities included appropriate handling of select agents detected in laboratory samples, and preparedness for high consequence disease testing in BSL-3 laboratory space.
Prior to returning to Texas A&M University, Dr. Cochran served as the Assistant Executive Director of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the second largest animal health agency in the United States, next to USDA APHIS. Dr. Cochran oversaw legislative and budget affairs at the TAHC, in addition to daily work with program disease challenges such as tuberculosis and fever ticks along the Texas-Mexico border. Additionally, he was responsible in part for management of the eight regional offices and their respective staffs.
Dr. Cochran completed his veterinary training at Texas A&M University, and subsequently pursued a graduate degree in international affairs with a focus on trade economics and multinationals. He enjoys working at the nexus of systems problem solving and application of technologies, and values distillation of challenges and process while striving to reduce complexity for the sake of finding the most generalized solution(s) possible.