ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2011) 25

Society for Endocrinology Transatlantic Medal Lecture



J J Kopchick, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA. Abstract

Dr John J Kopchick is an internationally recognized leader in the growth hormone (GH) field. Since 1987, he has held the Milton and Lawrence H Goll Eminent Scholar Professorship in Molecular and Cellular Biology and directs the Growth/Obesity/Diabetes Section of the Edison Biotechnology Institute at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He also is Professor in the Biomedical Sciences Department in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University.

In 1989, Dr. Kopchick and his group were the first to discover and characterize the molecular aspects of GH receptor antagonists, an accomplishment for which he and Ohio University were awarded several U.S. and European patents. He was instrumental in founding a company, Sensus, which applied his laboratory discovery to development of a drug that has been evaluated in clinical trials for acromegaly. Dr Kopchick has been involved in the start up of two additional biotechnology companies. The latest, DiAthegen, focuses on the discovery of diagnostics, therapeutics, and therapeutic targets in the obesity and diabetes field.

Born in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Dr Kopchick spent most of his early years in Indiana, Pennsylvania. He received both his bachelor's degree in biology and master's degree in biology and chemistry from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 1975, he enrolled in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas System Cancer Center in Houston, Texas and began research under the supervision of Dr Arlinghaus. While a graduate student at M.D. Anderson, he was awarded a Rosalie B Hite scholarship that supported his studies. His dissertation described the biosynthesis of Rauscher murine leukemia virus reverse transcriptase. He was awarded his Ph.D. in 1980.

After completing his PhD, Dr Kopchick continued research training as a postdoctoral fellow at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, New Jersey where he received a National Cancer Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship award to support his work. He then spent almost five years at Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories. At Merck, he progressed to the level of Director and developed a system built around cloning and expression of GH genes, which he continues to study as director of the Edison Biotechnology Institute.

Dr. Kopchick has published more than 290 scientific articles and 310 published abstracts in the area of growth, obesity and diabetes. His publication impact factor (h rating) is 44. Twelve patents have been granted based on his work with several more pending. He has also advised several undergraduate, post graduate and doctoral students. He has served on the Editorial Boards of several journals including The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Endocrinology, Molecular Endocrinology, and currently serves on the editorial board of GH & IGF-1 Research, and The Journal of Biological Chemistry, and The Polish Journal of Endocrinology. He is also President Elect of the Growth Hormone Research Society.

Dr. Kopchick has received many awards including The Outstanding Alumnus award from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA (2002); The Outstanding Alumnus Award from M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Houston, TX (2002); The Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas, Houston (2006), The New York College of Osteopathic Medicine's Riland Award (2007); an Honorary Dr of Sciences Degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA (2008), and the Phillips Medal of Honor Award from the Ohio University of Osteopathic Medicine (2010).

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