2021 ATA Award Recipients Announced

By July 12, 2021 February 26th, 2024 Past News Releases
American Thyroid Association

Each year, the American Thyroid Association (ATA®) honors clinicians, academicians and early career researchers who have made outstanding contributions in thyroidology.  These awards honor both professional achievements and contributions to ATA.


The ATA announced today the recipients of ATA’s 2021 awards.  The awardees will be recognized during the 90th Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association on September 30 – October 1, 2021.


“It is a distinct pleasure to be able to proudly recognize these valued ATA members who have given of their time and energy to the ATA over the decades. Each one of them has contributed to the ATA vision and mission by sharing their talents and expertise, and motivating our latest generation of thyroidologists,” said Jacqueline Jonklaas, MD, PhD, Secretary/COO of the ATA.


This year’s honorees are:



Matthew D. Ringel, MD – Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Lectureship AwardPhoto of Matthew D. Ringel, MD
The Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Lectureship Award recognizes outstanding academic achievements in thyroidology, in keeping with the innovation and vision that epitomized Dr. Ingbar’s brilliant investigative career. The Ingbar award is conferred upon an established investigator who has made major contributions to thyroid-relatedresearch over many years. Dr. Ringel is the Ralph W. Kurtz Chair and Director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at The Ohio State University, the Co-Director of the OSU Center for Cancer Engineering, Co-leader of the Cancer Biology program in the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Deputy Director of the OSU Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences.   Dr. Ringel is recognized for his innovative and visionary leadership and research in thyroid cancer.  Dr. Ringel’s research focuses on basic mechanisms of thyroid cancer tumorigenesis and metastasis, and his work in cell signaling in thyroid cancer has had an impact on the development of novel therapeutic approaches.


Sheue-yann Cheng, Ph.D. – Valerie Anne Galton Distinguished Lectureship Award
The Valerie Anne Galton Distinguished Lectureship Award recognizes an individual who has been instrumental in collaborative research that has significantly contributed to the advancement of our clinical knowledge of thyroid conditions. Dr. Cheng, the Chief of the Gene Regulation Section at the Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, is the inaugural recipient of the Valerie Anne Galton Distinguished Lectureship Award.  Dr. Cheng is recognized for her dedication to thyroid hormone research for more than 45 years and for inspiring and mentoring scientists worldwide.  Dr. Cheng was one of the early researchers studying the mechanism of thyroid hormone binding to serum and membrane proteins. Dr. Cheng is known for her trailblazing work in thyroid hormone action and the creation of mouse models to understand molecular actions of mutant thyroid hormone nuclear receptors in thyroid disorders, and thyroid cancer.




Photo of Kenneth D. Burman, MD

Kenneth D. Burman, MD – Lewis E. Braverman Distinguished Lectureship Award
The Lewis E. Braverman Distinguished Lectureship Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence and passion for mentoring fellows, students and junior faculty; has a long history of productive thyroid research; and is devoted to the ATA.  Dr. Burman is Chief, Endocrine Section, MedStar Washington Hospital Center; Program Director, Integrated Endocrine Fellowship Program MedStar Washington Hospital Center/MedStar Georgetown University Medical Center; and Professor, Department of Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, as well as Professor of Medicine of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.  Dr. Burman is celebrated for his countless contributions to the ATA and for supporting and mentoring more than 100 endocrine fellows throughout his career.  Dr. Burman is also recognized for his pioneering research in thyroxine deiodination, T3 conversion in the euthyroid sick syndrome and “polar T3 syndrome”, autoimmunity in Graves’ disease, anti-idiotypic antibodies in thyroid disease, and TSH receptor gene expression. Dr. Burman’s research has recently focused on the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer.



Photo of John C. Morris, III, MD

John C. Morris, III, MD – Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award honors a member who has made important and continuing contributions to the American Thyroid Association® (ATA).   Dr. Morris is a Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, MN. Dr Morris’ research is notable for his contributions to our understanding of the sodium iodine symporter and its role in thyroid physiology and pathology. He has also advanced our understanding of its role in the therapy of thyroid cancer and other diseases. Dr. Morris is recognized for his longtime service to ATA, serving on numerous committees, as a member of the Board of Directors, and in officer roles such as Secretary/COO and President.  Dr. Morris has also contributed to ATA’s growth and success over the years and has mentored many ATA members and leaders.



Photo of Leonard Wartofsky, MD

Leonard Wartofsky, MD – John B. Stanbury Thyroid Pathophysiology Medal
The John B. Stanbury Thyroid Pathophysiology Medal recognizes outstanding research contributions, either conceptual or technical, to the understanding of thyroid physiology or the pathophysiology of thyroid disease, as evidenced by having a major impact on research or clinical practice related to thyroid diseases.  Dr. Wartofsky is Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University and the Uniformed Services University and emeritus Chair of Medicine at Washington Hospital Center.  Dr. Wartofsky has significantly contributed to our overall understanding of thyroid diseases and physiology as a researcher and mentor.  He has advanced the field by leading research efforts in the areas of managing hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, and thyroid emergencies. The Burch-Wartofsky scoring system for thyroid storm has become part of our collective lexicon.




“By nominating an extremely talented and successful slate of candidates, the ATA membership made the task of the 2021 Awards Committee, a very difficult one; we hope to be similarly challenged next year and in the years to come,” said Andrew Gianoukakis, MD, Chair of the ATA Awards Committee.

About the American Thyroid Association®

The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is dedicated to transforming thyroid care through clinical excellence, education, scientific discovery and advocacy in a collaborative and diverse community. ATA® is an international professional medical society with over 1,800 members from 43 countries around the world. The ATA® promotes thyroid awareness and information through Clinical Thyroidology® for the Publica resource that summarizes research for patients and families, and extensive, authoritative resources on 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 thyroid-related information.