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Internationally renowned scientist John Kopchick honored with Riland Medal from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine

by Kevin M. Sanders
Dec. 21, 2007


John J. Kopchick, Ph.D., Goll-Ohio Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, Ohio, recently received the Riland Medal for Research from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) of New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). The Riland Medal is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the improvement of the health care work force, medical education, health policy or osteopathic philosophy, and who have served as a community advocate.


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 1989, Kopchick and his group were the first to discover and characterize the molecular aspects of GH 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 the development of a drug to treat acromegaly, a chronic disease caused by excessive secretion of GH by a pituitary adenoma. The drug, Somavert, is available in the United States and Europe and is marketed by Pfizer. Somavert also is expected to be useful in treating diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy as well as breast and other types of cancer. Kopchick has published more than 240 scientific articles and has served on the editorial boards of several journals including The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Endocrinology, Molecular Endocrinology and GH & IGF-1 Research.


He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Penn., (B.S. biology and M.S. biology-chemistry) and earned a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston, Texas.


Also receiving Riland Medals at NYCOMís annual convocation was Darrell Lynn Grace, D.O., for osteopathic philosophy; Arthur A. Gianelli for his work as an advocate for the community; and Judy H. Angelbeck, Ph.D., for academic service. The Riland Medal is named for W. Kenneth Riland, D.O., the founder of NYCOMís board of governors. NYCOM, founded in 1977, was the first osteopathic medical school in New York state and has grown to become the second-largest medical school in the nation.

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