Dr. Theodore Koppanyi was the youngest graduate in its history when the University of Vienna granted him a Ph.D. in 1923, and he was still not thirty years old when he was appointed Chairman of Pharmacology at Georgetown in 1932. With the vigor of perpetual youth he was one of the pioneers who took the newborn science of pharmacology and showed the world that it was not only beautiful to study, but that it held enormous promise for aiding the sick and for probing and understanding physiology and cellular biology. During his career he participated in research that foreshadowed every branch of the modern discipline and he pioneered ideas and concepts that guide the field to this day. In addition, his writings reflect his keen interest in - and respect for - the scientific and historical roots of pharmacology.
Theodore Koppanyi was also one of the most effective and loved teachers at Georgetown. This lecture series was organized by his students and friends to honor him, and we in the Department of Pharmacology are, in turn, honored to be part of it. Koppanyi Lectures began in 1981.
Dr. Frank Standaert assumed the chair in Pharmacology at Georgetown University Medical Center in 1967, at the age of 38, succeeding Dr. Theodore Koppanyi. Over the course of the next few years he recruited much of what is presently the senior faculty of the department.
At Georgetown University he served with distinction for 19 years as a researcher, beloved teacher and mentor. He was well-respected by his peers in and outside of Georgetown and served as president of the American Society for Pharmacology and Therapeutics, our professional society. In 1986, he assumed the position of EVP and Dean at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. Upon learning of his plans to leave Georgetown, the faculty commissioned a life-size portrait of him, which presently hangs in our library, where his memory is always with us. Frank Standaert made an indelible imprint on the pharmacology department, which endures to this day.
Dr. Stephen Krop's association with Georgetown University began in the 1930's when he was working on the actions and detection of barbiturates in the brain with Dr. Theodore Koppanyi, the first Chair of Pharmacology. After completing his studies at Georgetown he matriculated into the Pharmacology Program at Cornell University where he worked with an internationally renowned pharmacologist, the late Harry Gold. Dr. Krop has held leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry and in what is now the Chemical Defense Branch of the U.S. Army. His most recent career activity was as Chief of the Drug Pharmacology Branch of the FDA, where he served until his retirement
Over the years, Dr. Krop made significant contributions to the field of pharmacology. He furthered our understanding of the actions and treatment for chemical warfare agents, and he was a pioneer in the chemical detection of drugs in body tissue and the quantification of renal and gastrointestinal functions. Dr. Krop was married to Mary Lulick and has four children: Elaine, Marianne, Paul, and Thomas. Paul and Thomas are practicing physicians in Virginia Beach, Virginia and have been gracious in their support of this lectureship.
Dr. Karen Gale joined the faculty at Georgetown in 1977, and quickly rose through the ranks in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, where she was a full professor for over 25 years. Dr. Gale was a world-recognized leader in the field of epilepsy, and published over 200 papers in her career.
She made seminal contributions to the understanding of neural circuitry that controls seizure propagation, mechanisms of seizure-induced neuroprotection and damage, and effects of early life exposure to anticonvuslant drugs. Dr. Gale’s research was the first to identify the crucial role of basal ganglia nuclei in the control of epilepsy, as well as the role of a region of the piriform cortex, dubbed “Area Tempestas” in the genesis of seizures.
In addition to her scientific achievements, Dr. Gale was a stalwart advocate for trainees, early career investigators, minority scientists, and women scientists. One of Dr. Gale’s most lasting contributions to Georgetown was serving as the founding director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience from 1994-2003. Her continued leadership over the next 11 years helped shape the IPN into not only a world-class training program, but a community cultivated through thoughtful and deliberate action.
In recognition of her advocacy and passion for the advancement of women in science, her family and close colleagues endow this lectureship, with funding generously provided by by the Office of the President at Georgetown University, The American Epilepsy Society, and the Society for Neuroscience.
The Karen Gale Memorial Lectureship for Outstanding Women in Neuroscience will be held annually through the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience and the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology at Georgetown University Medical Center. We will recognize each year a female scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the field, both in the laboratory and through mentorship.
In recognition of Dr. Gale’s belief that graduate trainees should be actively involved in leadership, the selection committee includes two doctoral trainees each from the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience and Department of Pharmacology & Physiology. These trainees will serve on the selection and organizing committee with two faculty selected from each program.