The inaugural Peter J. Roach Lectureship in Metabolism and Related Diseases will be held on June 8th, 2023. Robert A. Harris, PhD, distinguished professor emeritus, Showalter Professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine, will present, “The Roles of Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Kinases in Metabolic Homeostasis and Diseases.”
Peter J. Roach, PhD, was an Indiana University distinguished professor, IUPUI Chancellor’s Professor, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology professor at IU School of Medicine who passed away on March 11, 2022. His wife Anna DePaoli-Roach, PhD, established an Endowed Lectureship in her late husband’s name to commemorate his influence in the field and to help keep his memory alive for future researchers. The opportunity was made possible thanks to generous donations from several trainees, family members, colleagues and friends to the IU Foundation in Dr. Roach’s honor.
Throughout Dr. Roach’s career, he received many awards and accolades for his impact on the field of glycogen metabolism and its regulation, which led to outstanding contributions to the pathogenesis of Lafora Disease, a deadly childhood disorder. He was a strong believer in the value of basic research and published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and held the longest-funded National Institutes of Health grant at IU for 41 years. He was also a mentor to many students, earning international recognition for his approach to student training, with 18 students earning PhD or master's degrees and 20 postdoctoral fellows studying under his direction. A summary of Dr. Roach’s incredible contributions to science was published in Cell Metabolism in July 2022.
Dr. Robert Harris was selected as the inaugural Lectureship speaker due to his contributions to metabolic research and his dedication to upholding ethical standards in scientific conduct and promoting diversity within his field. During his IU tenure, Dr. Harris expanded the biochemistry PhD program and boosted research funding and recruitment. His research has focused on the regulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex by kinases in starvation, diabetes and cancer. He has authored numerous books and respected textbook chapters in his area of expertise.
The inaugural Peter J. Roach Lectureship in Metabolism and Related Diseases will be held on Thursday, June 8th, at 3:00 p.m. in the Van Nuys Medical Science Building (MS 326), as well as virtually via Zoom. Attendees are also invited to join a reception following the lecture.
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