The ATA supports thyroid research through the generosity of members, patients, industry, and workplace donors. Awarding thyroid research grants since 1996, the ATA, along with ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors, Inc., contribute significant funding to young investigators. Grants are reviewed and selected annually by thyroid experts serving on the Research Committee. Our thanks to those who have contributed their time and expertise over many years to the advancement of thyroidology.
2012 ATA Research Grant Recipients
Stephen Ayers, PhD – The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, Texas
An investigation of the LDLR-independent serum lipid modulation by thyroid hormone
Ari J Wassner, MD – Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
Type 3 Deiodinase in Dilated Heart Failure
To indicate the wide-ranging importance of thyroid research, here is a sampling of ATA members’ research accomplishments.
- Americans develop an estimated 250,000 thyroid nodules each year. Clinical research headed by ATA members has led to cost-effective methods for screening thyroid nodules to detect malignancies. Other landmark studies by ATA members have led to the development of powerful new tools for monitoring thyroid cancer patients.
- Research conducted decades ago by ATA members led to mandatory screening of newborns for congenital hypothyroidism, and to early treatment that has prevented mental retardation in thousands. Today, pediatric research seeks to explain the connections between maternal and infant thyroid conditions and their long-term effects on babies’ cognitive development.
- ATA research grants supporting groundbreaking work in brain development and thyroid hormone function have helped investigators collect the initial data required for successful grant applications to the National Institutes of Health.
- With ATA support, a promising Graves’ disease genetic research study of 100 families may lead to improved prognosis and preventive treatments. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that runs in families and is thought to affect 1% of the population.
- A decade of research devoted to Graves’ ophthalmopathy has yielded greater understanding of the cellular processes involved in this debilitating eye disease, and led to the study of an experimental drug that may prove useful for treatment and prevention.
- Pioneering ATA members’ work explained the thyroid-pituitary feedback mechanism. A cutting-edge new study focuses on how thyrotropin-releasing
hormone interacts with its receptor to regulate cellular function in the eyes, heart, pancreas, and central nervous system.
- ATA members are using their scientific expertise and public health research findings to work for the global elimination of iodine deficiency and to study the effects of external head and neck radiation and nuclear fallout on the thyroid gland.