BCVS-Walter J. Koch

Walter J. Koch, Ph.D., F.A.H.A. W.W. Smith Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine Professor & Chairman, Department of Pharmacology Director, Center for Translational Medicine Temple University School of Medicine Professor Walter J. Koch (Ph.D., Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 1990) started his career at Duke University Medical Center and Howard Hughes Medical Institute as a postdoctoral fellow (1990-1995) in the lab of Dr. Robert Lefkowitz (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2012) and advanced to tenured Professor of Surgery before moving to Thomas Jefferson University in 2003 to build a Center for Translational Medicine. He became the Chairman of Dept. Pharmacology and Director of Center for Translational Medicine at Temple University in 2012. As principal investigator and project leader of several multimillion dollar NIH grants, Koch has overseen numerous advances in cardiac research over the last two decades. His research work has revealed the novel roles G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) play in cardiac injury and repair. Manipulating these GRKs, and targeting them with therapeutics, could lead to new treatments for heart failure patients. In fact, inhibition of one GRK, GRK2, in the heart has led to the reversal of heart failure in several animal models. This has been shown to occur by using a gene therapy approach in pre-clinical studies in both small and larger animal models and this methodology is one step away from human clinical trials. Further, small molecule inhibitors of GRK2 are now emerging. He has trained over 40 research Fellows and several have gone on to lead their own labs. Numerous awards and honors have recognized Koch’s research, including the International Society for Heart Research 2011 Outstanding Investigator Award, the American Heart Association Thomas Smith Memorial Lecture and Award for Cardiovascular Signaling in 2009, and a National Institutes of Health 10-year MERIT award running through 2019. He has published >350 peer-reviewed articles. He has served on NIH study sections as both a reviewer and Chair. He is the outgoing Chair of the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Council of the American Heart Association and a current Associate Editor of Circulation Research.

Medical Specialty:

Basic and Translational Science

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