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Environmental Factor, April 2012

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Korach receives Society for Endocrinology Dale Medal

By Eddy Ball

Kenneth Korach Ph.D.

Korach’s nomination emphasized the importance of his work with rodent models. “These models have completely transformed our understanding of the many and unexpected roles for estrogens, not only in female reproductive biology, but also that they have equally important roles in the male.” (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

NIEHS senior researcher Kenneth Korach Ph.D., is this year’s winner of the Dale Medal, the highest accolade awarded by the Society for Endocrinology (SfE). As part of his award, Korach delivered an acceptance lecture for the Dale Medal, “Estrogen receptor insensitivity: basic and clinical consequences in hormone and endocrine physiology,” March 20 at the annual SfE meeting in Harrogate, England.

In his letter of congratulations to Korach, SfE General Secretary Paul Stewart, M.D., wrote, “Each year, the Society of Endocrinology awards the Dale Medal to a member of the scientific community in recognition of outstanding studies, which have changed our understanding of endocrinology in a fundamental way.”

SfE criteria for the Dale Medal include an international reputation in high-quality science in high-impact journals. The research findings are always of major significance in a translational way, as well, and the awardees are researchers widely recognized among their peers for outstanding research capabilities of world-class stature, recognized and frequently cited by others.

Contributions to the understanding of sex hormone action

Korach joined NIEHS in 1976, where he currently heads the Receptor Biology Group investigating estrogen hormone action in numerous tissues by the generation of estrogen-receptor knockout mouse models with an application toward understanding the basic mechanisms of estrogen’s influence on physiological processes and disease. He is past director of the NIEHS Environmental Disease and Medicine Program and current chief of the Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology, and a member of the Senior Biomedical Research Service within the U.S Public Health Service.

In addition to the Dale Medal, Korach is the recipient of NIH outstanding performance and merit awards, the Medical College of Georgia Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Edwin B. Astwood Award from The Endocrine Society, the Keith Harrison Lecture Award from the Endocrine Society of Australia, the Transatlantic Medal from the Society for Endocrinology in the United Kingdom, and the Firkin Oration Research Award from the Australian Society for Medical Research.

An editor and past editor in chief of the journal Endocrinology, Korach holds adjunct professorships at North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and in the department of pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke University Medical Center.

After completing his Ph.D. in endocrinology from the Medical College of Georgia, where he characterized biochemical properties of estrogen receptors in the pituitary and hypothalamus, Korach was a postdoctoral biological chemistry and Ford research Fellow at Harvard Medical School with the late professor Lewis Engel, Ph.D.

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