2019 Van Meter Lectureship “Recent Changes in Thyroid Cancer Incidence Trends—Real, Artifact, or Both?” presented by Cari Kitahara, PhD

October 31, 2019 — The American Thyroid Association (ATA) announces with pleasure that the prestigious Van Meter Award for 2019 has been presented to Dr. Cari Kitahara, a tenure-track Investigator at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  Dr. Kitahara earned her doctoral (2011) and master’s (2008) degrees in cancer epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She received her post-doctoral fellowship training at the National Cancer Institute.  Dr. Kitahara is an epidemiologist whose research goals “are to provide evidence to guide radiation protection standards and practices, clinical decision-making, and public health recommendations for the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases”. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers over the past decade of which a third focus on thyroid cancer risk.

The Van Meter Award recognizes outstanding contributions to research on the thyroid gland or related subjects by an investigator who is age 45 or under. Dr. Kitahara spoke on “Recent Changes in Thyroid Cancer Incidence Trends—Real, Artifact, or Both?” on October 31 at 8:05 am, during this year’s 89th ATA Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. The ATA maintained its long-held tradition of keeping the name of the awardee and her lecture secret until the time of the presentation.

Dr. Kitahara’s research program is multidisciplinary and focuses on cancer and other chronic disease risks associated with occupational and medical radiation exposures, particularly those related to nuclear medicine and fluoroscopically-guided interventional procedures. She also maintains a broad interest in the descriptive epidemiology and etiology of radiosensitive tumors, including thyroid cancer.

ATA past president, Dr. Bryan R Haugen, noted that “Because of Dr Kitahara’s work and findings, new avenues of investigation are developing to understand the risk factors for this increase in thyroid cancer incidence.”

She has led and collaborated on several large cohort data pooling projects within the NCI Cohort Consortium. Dr. Kitahara has over 115 peer-reviewed publications and three book chapters and has received numerous awards for her research, including the National Cancer Institute’s Director’s Individual Award of Merit and the National Cancer Institute’s Director’s Intramural Innovation Award.  Dr. Kitahara serves as a reviewer for dozens of medical journals and one of the youngest members on the Thyroid  journal’s Editorial Board.


The American Thyroid Association® (ATA) is dedicated to transforming thyroid care through clinical excellence, education, scientific discovery and advocacy in a collaborative community. ATA® is an international professional medical society with over 1,700 members from 70 countries around the world. Celebrating its 96th anniversary, the ATA® delivers its mission — transforming thyroid care through clinical excellence, education, scientific discovery and advocacy in a collaborative community — through 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 through its online Clinical Thyroidology® for the Public (distributed free of charge to over 12,000 patients and public subscribers) and extensive, authoritative explanations of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer in both English and Spanish. The ATA® website www.thyroid.org serves as a bonafide clinical resource for patients and the public who look for reliable information on the Internet.