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Sunday, January 29,2012

OU researcher gets major honor

Photo Credits: File photo.
Photo Caption: John J. Kopchick

In a news release Friday, the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) reported that it will name a newly endowed research chair to honor “one of its most esteemed faculty members.”

The John J. Kopchick, Ph.D., Osteopathic Heritage Foundations Endowed Eminent Research Chair was announced at a Jan. 17 luncheon held to recognize the world-renowned endocrinologist and his contributions to the college, the university and the medical profession, the release said.

Named after Kopchick, himself the Milton and Lawrence H. Goll Eminent Scholar and Professor in Molecular and Cellular Biology, the chair will be held by a researcher to be recruited into the OU-HCOM Department of Biomedical Sciences in 2016. The $5 million endowment is supported by both the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations and OU.

“John is extraordinary, in every sense of the word,” Richard A. Vincent, president and CEO of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations, said in the news release. “He is known nationally and internationally for his remarkable work in endocrinology and as a highly respected scientist at Ohio University. On campus and around Athens, he is known as an effective mentor, professor and friend. This recognition is but one demonstration of our intense pride in having him associated with the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.”

Thanking the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations, OU, the Heritage College, and his closest colleagues, friends and family in attendance at the Jan. 17 luncheon, Kopchick reportedly stated that he was extremely humbled when told the chair would be named for him.

Kopchick is known internationally for his 1989 discovery of a compound that became the basis for a drug that treats acromegaly, a disorder that can cause excessive growth of organs and bones, and can lead to premature death. The treatment has earned substantial royalties that support OU research programs.

OU-HCOM Dean Jack Brose, D.O., explained at the luncheon that Kopchick’s achievements extend well beyond Somavert , the drug developed based on his research. He is an extraordinary mentor and leader who has received numerous national and international awards; has published more than 290 scientific articles; and has been involved in three start-up companies, Brose stated.

Endowed chairs and named professorships are among the highest honors an academic institution can bestow upon its faculty members, the release said. Speaking on the importance of endowed research chairs, OU President Roderick J. McDavis said that such positions help recruit faculty colleagues who will be tomorrow’s leading researchers.

The endowed research chair was funded in part from the historic $105 million gift to OU-HCOM from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations.

The scientist chosen to be the Kopchick Chair and the chair’s associated research team will be located in the new Osteopathic Heritage Foundations and Charles R. and Marilyn Y. Stuckey Academic & Research Center (ARC).


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