Prof. A.C.E. Koch Memorial Oration 2009
The Physiological Society of Sri Lanka will be honouring the memory of Prof. A. C. E. Koch, the first Sri Lankan Professor of Physiology, by organizing the Annual Koch Memorial Oration this year too for the 23rd successive year. It will be held at the Physiology Lecture Theatre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya.

Prof. Arthur Cecil Elsley Koch was born in 1903 and after an excellent academic career at the Colombo Medical School, he joined the Department of Physiology as a demonstrator in 1935. He proceeded to Oxford, UK for his postgraduate studies and did some pioneering work on "Carbohydrate metabolism and muscular exercise". On his return he was appointed to the Chair in Physiology in 1952 to be the first native citizen of Sri Lanka to hold this post until his retirement in 1968.

This year Prof. A.C.E. Koch Memorial Oration will be delivered by Prof. Upali Illangasekera MD,FRCP, FRCPE,FCCP Associate Professor in Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya & Consultant Physician, Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya on "Metabolic Syndrome as a Cardiovascular Risk Factor in Sri Lankans."

Prof. Upali Illangasekera was a brilliant academic who graduated from Peradeniya Medical Faculty in 1970 with Second Class Honours and a Distinction in Medicine. He obtained a merit promotion to the Associate Professor in Medicine at the University of Peradeniya in 1995. He has been trained in Neurology at the St. James’ University Hospital, Leeds, UK and has 39 years of experience in clinical medicine having worked in three major Teaching Hospitals in Sri Lanka and UK. He developed an interest in Diabetes and Endocrinology after joining the Faculty of Medicine, Peradeniya. He has done many research work and published widely on diabetes and related topics. Previously he has done several orations on "Epidemiology of diabetes", "Malnutrition related diabetes" and "Problems and pitfalls in the management of diabetes." He is a member of the American Diabetes Association, Founder President of the Sri Lanka Diabetes Association - Kandy Branch, President of the Endocrine Society of Sri Lanka and the President Elect of the Hypertension Society of Sri Lanka.

He was the first medical scientist in Sri Lanka to determine the prevalence of diabetes in the rural sector and demonstrate an increase in its prevalence during the past 10 years. His oration on "Metabolic Syndrome as a Cardiovascular Risk Factor in Sri Lankans" will be a pertinent and relevant topic to address in the present health scene in Sri Lanka where diabetes and the related disease processes are on the increase.

Dr. Vajira Weerasinghe

President, The Physiological Society of Sri Lanka

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