American Thyroid Association: Charles H. Emerson, MD, Will Lead New Board of Directors

By October 20, 2017 March 3rd, 2024 Past News Releases

American Thyroid Association: Charles H. Emerson, MD, Will Lead New Board of Directors

October 19, 2017—The American Thyroid Association® (ATA) announces with pleasure the election of Charles H. Emerson, MD, as president of its Board of Directors. All terms begin at the close of the Annual Meeting, taking place October 18‒22 in Victoria, British Columbia.

Additional new board members include:

Elizabeth Pearce, MD, MSc, President-Elect
Julie Ann Sosa, MD, MA, FACS, Treasurer
Douglas Forrest, PhD, Research Director
Megan Haymart, MD, Clinician Director
Thomas Giordano, MD, PhD, Pathology Director

Charles H. Emerson, MD, President

Dr. Emerson is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMASSMED). He received his MD degree from the University of Virginia and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in Philadelphia. After a year of endocrine fellowship at the same institution, he served as Chief of Endocrinology at the US Army Medical Center in Augusta, GA. Following military service, he returned to Penn and completed his endocrine fellowship, where he worked on purifying thyroid stimulating antigen, the kinetics of thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), inappropriate TSH secretion, and the effects of lithium and stable iodine on thyroid function.

After six years as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois, Dr. Emerson was recruited to UMASSMED by Lewis E. Braverman, MD. The two collaborated on a study of thyroid hormone metabolism in the chorion and placenta of various species, sparked by the finding that, in experimental models of hypothyroidism, reverse T3 in amniotic fluid was derived from the mother rather than the fetus. Among the other areas of Dr. Emerson’s research are the effects of recombinant TSH in humans and rats, the relationship between age and the thyrotroph response to primary hypothyroidism and, working with Dr. Ronald Lechan, the mechanism of fasting-induced suppression of ProTRH mRNA in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus.

Dr. Emerson has served on the VA Merit Review Board and as an ad hoc member of NIH study sections. He is a member of the Endocrine Society, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the European Thyroid Association and, since 1976, the ATA. He has served on the ATA Program, Awards, and Development Committees, and as Chair of the Membership and Bylaws Committees. He was a member of the ATA Board from 2003 to 2007 and Treasurer from 2004 to 2007.

From 2008 through 2012 he was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Thyroid®. He is currently Associate Editor of Clinical Thyroidology® and Associated Editor of Endocrine Practice. Dr. Emerson was awarded the ATA’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010.

He writes, “My vision of the ideal ATA is that it should be an intellectual home and voice for both individuals and groups, for original groundbreaking research and education of health care workers and the public, for scholarly work by one or two people and collective synthesis of the literature by groups. Revolutionary insights are generally formulated by individuals or close collaborations between two or three investigators. These in turn are integrated into the mainstream by groups, ideally in an erudite fashion. I will strive for an agenda and allocation of resources and time that is inclusive of these outwardly competing values.”

Dr. Emerson has served a year on the board as President-Elect. He will now serve a one-year term as President, followed by a one-year term as Past-President.

Elizabeth Pearce, MD, MSc, President-Elect

Dr. Pearce is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition Section at Boston University School of Medicine. She received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard and a masters’ degree in epidemiology from the Boston University School of Public Health. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and her fellowship in endocrinology at Boston University under the mentorship of Dr. Lewis Braverman. Her research interests include the sufficiency of dietary iodine in the U.S. and globally; thyroid function in pregnancy; thyroidal effects of exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors; and the cardiovascular effects of subclinical thyroid dysfunction. She has been part of the leadership of the Iodine Global Network (IGN; formerly ICCIDD) since 2009. She is a member of the AACE Thyroid Scientific Committee and serves as faculty for the Endocrine Society’s annual board review course. She has served on multiple editorial boards, including those for Endocrine Practice, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Clinical Endocrinology®, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Dr. Pearce has been a member of the American Thyroid Association® since 2000. She has chaired both the ATA’s Publications and Public Health Committees. She co-chaired the 2012 Annual Meeting Program Committee and the 2009 and 2016 Spring Symposia, and was a member of the Program Committee for the 2015 International Thyroid Congress. She has served as a member of the ATA Finance Committee, and currently is a member of the Guidelines Policy Task Force. She was one of the leaders of the effort to establish the ATA’s Braverman Lectureship and co-chaired the task force for the 2017 Pregnancy Guidelines. She is Associate Editor for both Thyroid and Clinical Thyroidology journals. She served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2009­ to 2013. Dr. Pearce was the 2011 recipient of the ATA Van Meter Award for outstanding contributions to research on the thyroid gland.

Julie Ann Sosa, MD, MA, FACS, Treasurer

After a year as Treasurer-Elect, Dr. Sosa will now become Treasurer. She is Professor of Surgery and Medicine in Oncology at Duke University, where she serves as Chief of Endocrine Surgery and Director of the Surgical Center for Outcomes Research, as well as Leader of the Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases Group at the Duke Cancer Institute and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, a large transdisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers. She received her AB at Princeton, her MA at Oxford, and her MD at Johns Hopkins, where she also completed the Halsted residency and a fellowship. Her clinical interest is in endocrine surgery, with a focus in thyroid cancer. She is an NIH-funded investigator and author of more than 230 peer-reviewed publications and 50 book chapters, largely focused on outcomes research and thyroid cancer, including clinical trials.

Dr. Sosa is also this year’s Lewis E. Braverman Distinguished Award recipient. The Braverman Award recognizes an individual who: demonstrates excellence and passion for mentoring fellows, students, and junior faculty; has a long history of productive thyroid research; and is devoted to the ATA®. At the Annual Meeting, she will present the Braverman lecture, titled “Retelling the Story of Thyroid Cancer—Rising Incidence, Mortality, and Maybe an Explanation.”

In addition to Board liaison to the ATA Finance and Audit Committee and Internet Communications Committee, Dr. Sosa is a past Chair of the Program Committee and has served on the Nominating Committee and Patient Affairs and Education Committee, as well as guidelines committees for the management of thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer (2015) and hyperthyroidism/thyrotoxicosis (2011, 2016). She was vice president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Thyroid Oncology Group as well as the Executive Council of the Society for Surgical Oncology. She is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Practice Guidelines Committee for Neuroendocrine Tumors. She is deputy editor of JAMA-Surgery and associate editor for World Journal of Surgery, Journal of Surgical Research, and Current Opinion in Oncology. She is on the editorial boards of the Annals of Surgical Oncology, Annals of Surgery, Hormones and Cancer, Endocrine, and Surgery. She has mentored more than 50 students, residents, and fellows.

Douglas Forrest, PhD, Research Director

Dr. Forrest is Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Endocrinology and Receptor Biology at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He received his PhD at Glasgow University for studies on feline leukemia virus. His life-long interest in thyroid hormone was first sparked during training at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

In the United States, Dr. Forrest previously held faculty appointments as Assistant Professor, then Associate Professor at the Department of Human Genetics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. His experience includes teaching and obtaining NIH and international grants. He has served on grant study sections and on the editorial boards of Thyroid, Endocrinology, Molecular Endocrinology, and Frontiers in Endocrinology. He has mentored trainees who have pursued careers in independent research, clinical practice, industry, and scientific administration.

Dr. Forrest’s research interests concern thyroid hormone functions in mammalian development and disease with emphasis on basic and translational studies of thyroid hormone receptors and deiodinase enzymes. His contributions have been recognized with the ATA Van Meter Award and the Merck Prize of the European Thyroid Association. He has presented the Shizume Lecture of the Japanese Thyroid Association and the Pitt-Rivers Lecture of the British Endocrine Society.

A member of the ATA® since 1999, Dr. Forrest has served on the Annual Meeting Program Committee, the Awards Committee, the Planning Committee for the Spring Summit on “The thyroid in pregnancy and development,” and the Basic Research Guidelines Task Force. He co-authored the “ATA Guide to investigating thyroid hormone economy and action in rodent and cell models.” He was co-chair with Elizabeth Pearce of the 82nd Annual Meeting in Quebec City. He currently serves on the Trainee Career and Advancement Committee as chair of the Basic Track and is a keen advocate for all trainees in the thyroid field.

Megan Haymart, MD, Clinician Director

Dr. Haymart is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes and Hematology/Oncology at the University of Michigan. She received her MD degree from Johns Hopkins Medical School. She completed her internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and her endocrinology fellowship at the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Haymart’s clinical focus is thyroid cancer and thyroid nodules, working with a multidisciplinary endocrine oncology team at the University of Michigan. Her research focus is on variation in the management of thyroid disorders, with an emphasis on the role of patients, providers, and health systems in treatment decision-making. With R01 funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), she is currently evaluating treatment decision-making in low-risk thyroid cancer. With R01 funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), she is investigating the role of imaging in the over-diagnosis of low-risk thyroid cancer.

In addition to her clinical efforts and research endeavors, Dr. Haymart is involved in creating the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) thyroid carcinoma guidelines. She is the recent recipient of the University of Michigan’s Jerome Conn Award for Research Excellence. She currently serves as chair of the ATA Finance and Audit Committee and is on the Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting Steering Committee. She served on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) from 2013 to 2016 and currently serves on the editorial boards of Thyroid® (since 2013) and Endocrine Today (since 2017). She is also Associate Editor for VideoEndocrinology (2014‒present).

Thomas Giordano, MD, PhD, Pathology Director

Dr. Giordano is the Henry Clay Bryant Professor of Pathology in the Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, and holds a joint appointment in the Metabolism and Endocrinology Division of the school’s Department of Internal Medicine. After receiving his BA from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Giordano earned his MD and PhD in a combined program at the Rutgers University and UMDNJ’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. His graduate studies in the Department of Microbiology involved the regulation of gene expression. He completed residency training in anatomic pathology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and fellowship training in oncologic pathology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Both residency and fellowship training permitted extensive exposure to endocrine pathology. He then joined the faculty at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Dr. Giordano is an endocrine and molecular pathologist with long-standing interests in thyroid and adrenocortical neoplasia. His specific academic interests in thyroid cancer include molecular and genomic profiling and tumor classification. He served as co-chair of The Cancer Genome Atlas’s (TCGA’s) Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma project, which he led from its initiation to publication in Cell in 2014. He also was instrumental in convincing the TCGA leadership to conduct their Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma project and served as co-chair of this study until its publication in Cancer Cell in 2016. He also served on the Analysis Working group for the TCGA Pheochromocytoma project, published in Cancer Cell in 2017. He currently serves on
the TCGA Steering Committee for the PanCancerAtlas project, the goal of which is to collectively evaluate the genomics of all tumors studied by TCGA.

Dr. Giordano regularly attends the ATA® Annual Meeting and has participated on their Tumor Board for the last two years. He is a member of the ATA Laboratory Services Committee and ATA Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer (ATC) Guidelines Task Force.

Nominating Process

The ATA® thanks this year’s nominating committee, chaired by David Steward, and is extremely grateful to all who are willing to stand for election and to serve on the Board of Directors. Special thanks to those who will retire from the Board this year: Anthony Hollenberg, MD, Jacqueline Jonklaas, MD, outgoing Past-President Anthony Bianco, MD, PhD, and outgoing Treasurer David H. Sarne, who has served for six years in that position. Additional thanks to current President John Morris, MD, who now continues to serve as Past-President of the Board.



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 94th 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).