Peter J. Roach, PhD
Dr. Roach received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1972, working on the kinetic properties of E. coli RNA polymerase in the laboratory of Dr. Alec Anderson. Subsequent postdoctoral training with Dr. Daniel E. Atkinson in the Department of Chemistry at UCLA addressed basic principles of metabolic regulation, studying the enzyme UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase. This was followed by further studies of metabolism with Dr. Joseph Larner at the University of Virginia where he was introduced to the newly emerging field of protein phosphorylation, specifically its role in the control of glycogen metabolism. There he began a lifetime engagement with the enzyme glycogen synthase and its phosphorylation. He joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1979, continuing study of glycogen synthase and the multiple protein kinases that phosphorylated it. This led to a significant involvement in trying to define protein kinases and their substrate specificities when the field of protein phosphorylation and signal transduction was in its infancy and expanding rapidly. His work evolved to examine the genetic modulation of glycogen metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and mice. Most recently, his research has focused on glycogen storage diseases (GSDs) in which gene mutations lead to serious, often fatal, consequences in children. Among these diseases are Pompe, Lafora and Cori disease, all of which are currently being studied at the biochemical level as well as by analysis of mouse genetic models of the diseases. A new strategy, being developed with his collaborators Drs. DePaoli-Roach and Hurley, is to identify small molecule inhibitors of glycogen accumulation as a means to alleviate symptoms of GSDs.
Titles & Appointments
- Chancellor's Professor, IUPUI
- Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology