Indiana University of Pennsylvania
graduate John Kopchick, a world-renowned molecular endocrinologist in the field
of human growth hormone, will be the keynote presenter for the College of
Natural Sciences and Mathematics and IUP’s Sigma Xi Science Inspires Series on
March 9, 2017.
Kopchick is currently a Goll-Ohio
Eminent Scholar and professor of molecular and cellular biology at Ohio
University. He is an expert on growth hormone and is the inventor of Somavert, a drug that treats acromegaly, a disorder that causes excessive growth of organs and bones and
leads to premature death.
Prior to his on-campus presentation, a
documentary film featuring Kopchick discussing his research will be shown on
March 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Room 225.
The film documentary, “Secrets of a
Long Life,” examines the question of why are residents of Quito, Ecuador,
spared by cancer, diabetes, and other diseases, reviewing years of research in
areas of the world known for the longevity of its people.
His March 9 lecture, “Growth
Hormone, Mini-Mice, Football, Dirty Shirts, Wedding Rings and a New Drug,” will
take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Eberly College of Business and Information
Technology Auditorium on the first floor. It is free and open to the
presentation will tell the story of a series of experimental results that led
to the discovery of a novel compound: a Growth Hormone Receptor
Antagonist. It will include discussion of the trials and tribulations of
taking a compound through the drug development process to final approval by the
regulatory agencies for human use, and will stress the importance of
intellectual property and serendipity.
A public reception in the Eberly atrium
will follow the lecture.
Kopchick also will discuss research and
career opportunities with IUP students at 2:00 p.m. March 9 in Walsh Hall, Room
Kopchick, a native of Punxsutawney and
Indiana, earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from IUP in
1972 and 1975 respectively. He is a recipient of the university’s Distinguished
Alumni Award and received an honorary doctorate of science degree from IUP
during May 2008 commencement ceremonies.
He earned a PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and completed post-doctoral work at Roche Institute of Molecular Biology. Kopchick serves on the IUP College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Advancement Board.
His extraordinary contributions to science have been recognized with a
number of prominent awards, including the Society for Endocrinology
Transatlantic Medal, many honorary degrees, and election to the National
Academy of Inventors Chartered Fellows.
Ohio University, Kopchick
is a lead investigator for the university’s Edison Biotechnology Institute, an
interdisciplinary team of scientists working on new ways to diagnose and treat
growth disorders, diabetes, obesity, auto-immune diseases, inflammation, aging,
infectious diseases, and cancer.
also participates in the Ohio University Collaborative on Aging, which
brings together researchers, educators, service providers and students with
aging-related interests. This interdisciplinary network focuses on improving
the lives of older adults and optimizing quality of life across the lifespan,
especially in underserved populations.
The College of Natural
Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) Science Inspires Series is offered jointly with
IUP’s Sigma Xi chapter, featuring talks by prominent researchers on topics
interdisciplinary in nature, of interest to faculty and students from a variety
of academic fields and to the general public.
the Scientific Research Society, is an honor society of scientists and
engineers that rewards excellence in scientific research and encourages a sense
of companionship and cooperation among scientists in all fields.
Every semester, the series offers
two talks by IUP College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics researchers and
one external, renowned speaker.