October 1, 2018—The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is pleased to announce that the 2018 Paul Starr Award recipient and lecturer will be Dr. Scott A. Rivkees, Professor and Chair, as well as Nemours Eminent Scholar, at the University of Florida Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Rivkees is also Physician-in-Chief at Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, Academic Chair of Pediatrics at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, and University of Florida Chair of Pediatrics at Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola.
The Starr Award is presented to an outstanding contributor to clinical thyroidology. At the ATA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, Dr. Rivkees will deliver the Paul Starr Award Lecture at 1:00 pm on October 4, 2018, on “Unmasking the Problems With Antithyroid Medication Safety.”
Dr. Rivkees earned his BS in biochemistry from Cook College at Rutgers University and his MD from New Jersey Medical School. Thereafter, he was a Resident in Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Clinical Fellow in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School (HMS), then a Clinical Fellow in Pediatric Endocrinology at both locations. While working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Neuroscience—again at both locations—Dr. Rivkees was also a Research Fellow at MGH. After his postdoc, he was appointed Instructor in Pediatrics at HMS and Assistant in Pediatrics at MGH, followed by Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at HMS and Associate Professor Pediatrics at Indiana University and Yale University. After receiving tenure at Yale, he became director of the Yale Child Health Research Center, Professor of Pediatrics, Chief of the Section of Developmental Endocrinology and Biology, and Associate Chair of Yale Pediatrics for Research, all at the same time. From there he moved to his current appointments in Florida.
Dr. Rivkees’s important contributions have focused on pediatric thyroidology, but also on thyroidology more generally. He made public the dangers—especially the onset of liver failure—associated with the use of the medicine propylthiouracil, which resulted in worldwide changes in the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Through his research, clinical work, and publications, he was responsible for changing the way children with juvenile-acquired hypothyroidism are treated. He wrote many papers concerning the risks and benefits of using radioactive iodine in children with thyroid disease, predating the ATA’s own guidelines on treating pediatric thyroid cancer. And he started the first Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Program in the US, at Yale University.
Another area of Dr. Rivkees’s research evaluated the risks of antithyroid medications to both mother and fetus, which led to findings that are now incorporated into the ATA guidelines for managing hypothyroidism during pregnancy.
Dr. Rivkees has written over 230 articles, chapters, and editorials. He is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He has been named “One of America’s Best Doctors” and “One of America’s Top Pediatricians,” as well as “Physician of the Year” by the CARES Foundation. Dr. Rivkees has served on numerous panels, advisory boards, editorial boards, and symposia and in 2012 was named a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. He holds one patent, with three more pending.
Over the past three-plus decades, Dr. Rivkees has demonstrated repeatedly his dedication to clinical thyroidology, improving the care of infants, children, and adolescents worldwide. That commitment, combined with his dedication to his patients and students, makes him a very worthy recipient for the highly sought after and prestigious, 2018 Paul Starr Award, the first ever given to a pediatric endocrinologist.
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 membership medical society with over 1,700 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 95th anniversary, the ATA continues to deliver its mission of being devoted to thyroid biology and to the prevention and treatment of thyroid disease through excellence in research, clinical care, education, and public health. These efforts are carried out via several key endeavors:
- The publication of the highly regarded professional journals Thyroid, Clinical Thyroidology, and VideoEndocrinology
- Annual scientific meetings
- Biennial clinical and research symposia
- Research grant programs for young investigators
- Support of online professional, public, and patient educational programs
- Development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer
The ATA promotes thyroid awareness and information online through Clinical Thyroidology for the Public and extensive, authoritative explanations of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer in both English and Spanish. The ATA website serves as the clinical resource for patients and the public who look for reliable information on the Internet. Every fifth year, the American Thyroid Association joins with the Latin American Thyroid Society, the European Thyroid Association, and the Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association to cosponsor the International Thyroid Congress (ITC).