American Thyroid Association Presents the 2016 Paul Starr Award Lecture

September 26, 2016 — The recipient of the 2016 American Thyroid Association (ATA) Paul Starr Award Lecture is Mingzhao Xing, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Oncology, Pathology and Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Dr. Xing will deliver The Paul Starr Award Lecture, entitled “BRAF in Prognostication of Thyroid Cancer — Where Are We Now?” at the ATA’s 86th Annual Meeting, September 21-25, 2016, in Denver, Colorado.

The Paul Starr Award Lecture recognizes an outstanding contributor to clinical thyroidology. Dr. Xing is a recognized national and international leader in thyroid cancer whose many remarkable achievements related to clinical translational research on the molecular pathogenesis of thyroid cancer have included his contributions to the initial discovery of BRAF V600E mutation and TERT promoter mutations in thyroid cancer and demonstration of their  important prognostic link to  thyroid cancer outcomes.

His research has shown that  BRAF mutation results in dedifferentiation of thyroid cancer of follicular cell origin, and is associated with down-regulation of thyroid iodide-metabolizing genes, such as the sodium/iodide symporter (NIS), and radioiodine treatment resistance.  He also used preclinical models to first demonstrate the potential to restore throid gene expression and radioiodine avidity of thyroid cancer through targeting BRAF and MEK.  Dr. Xing has published evidence showing a strong link between BRAF mutations, particularly when coexisting with TERT promoter mutations, and increased tumor invasiveness and metastases,  disease recurrence, and patient mortality. He has also performed leading work on the diagnostic and prognostic measurement of BRAF and TERT promoter mutations in thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy samples.

Dr. Xing has also done pioneering research to look for ways to target multiple signaling pathways in thyroid cancer that could lead to rational combination therapies to treat patients with advanced thyroid cancer. He continues to be an innovator in translating basic biological research findings into preclinical tools and clinical knowledge that can help personalize disease management and improve patient care.  His work has been cited > 10,000 times and awarded five USA patents.

Dr. Xing received his medical degree from the Second Military Medical University in Shanhai, China and Ph D degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.  He completed a medicine residency at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center,  a fellowship in pharmacology at the University of California School of Medicine in San Diego and a clinical fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.



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 93rd anniversary, the ATA delivers 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 — through several key endeavors: the publication of 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; and the 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 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 co-sponsor the International Thyroid Congress (ITC).