September 21, 2016 — The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is proud to award the 2016 Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Lectureship Award to Nancy Carrasco, M.D., Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Dr. Carrasco will deliver the Sidney H. Ingbar Award Lecture at the ATA’s 86th Annual Meeting, on Thursday, September 22 at 1:30 pm MT, in Denver, Colorado. The Award, endowed by contributions to honor the memory of Sidney H. Ingbar, recognizes outstanding academic achievements in thyroidology, in keeping with the innovation and vision that epitomized Dr. Ingbar’s brilliant investigative career. The Ingbar award is conferred upon an established investigator who has made major contributions to thyroid-related research over many years.
Dr. Carrasco has made seminal contributions to thyroidology, primarily through her discovery of the sodium/iodide symporter (NIS) and the characterization of its biochemistry and function. NIS is the key plasma membrane protein that mediates the active transport of iodide in the thyroid. Dr. Carrasco’s main research focus is on plasma membrane transport proteins at the molecular level, with an emphasis on their structure/function relations, mechanisms, regulation, pathophysiology, and clinical applications.
Dr. Carrasco obtained a Master’s degree in biochemistry from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and her medical degree from the UNAM School of Medicine. She was a postdoctoral fellow and a research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. H. R. Kaback at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, New Jersey, while on a Fogarty International Fellowship from the NIH.
Dr. Carrasco’s group isolated the cDNA that encodes the sodium/iodide symporter by expression cloning in X. laevis oocytes. To facilitate the characterization of NIS at the molecular level, Dr. Carrasco’s group generated the first anti-NIS antibodies. Her team’s cloning of NIS and subsequent molecular characterization of the protein has had a powerful impact on numerous fields, including research on the structure/function of plasma membrane transporters, cancer diagnosis and treatment (in the thyroid and other tissues), and public health.
Research by Dr. Carrasco’s group has led to numerous additional discoveries including the role of NIS in active iodide transport in extrathyroidal tissues, the mode of transport of the anion perchlorate (ClO4-), which is an inhibitor of thyroidal iodide accumulation, and evidence that mutations in NIS can cause congenital iodide transport defect (ITD).
Dr. Carrasco has served as the president of the Society of Latin American Biophysicists (SOBLA). She has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Pew Award in the Biomedical Sciences; the Merck Prize, from the European Thyroid Association; the Marshall S. Horwitz Faculty Award for Research Excellence; the Peter F. Curran Lectureship; the Milton P. Gordon Annual Lectureship; the Light of Life Award; and the Plenary Lecture at the 2012 American Thyroid Association Meeting. In 2015, in recognition of her seminal contributions to biomedical research, Dr. Carrasco was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences.
The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international individual membership organization for over 1,700 clinicians and researchers from 43 countries around the world, representing a broad diversity of medical disciplines. It also serves the public, patients and their family through education and awareness efforts.
Celebrating its 93rd anniversary, ATA delivers its mission through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded monthly journals, THYROID, Clinical Thyroidology, VideoEndocrinology and Clinical Thyroidology for the Public; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease.
More information about ATA is found at www.thyroid.org.