Falls Church, Virginia. Oct. 27, 2011 – The Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Lectureship Award recognizes outstanding academic achievements in thyroidology and honors an established investigator who has made major contributions to thyroid-related research over many years. This year’s Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Lectureship Award recipient is Gregory A. Brent, MD, Professor of Medicine and Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, and Executive Vice Chair for Affiliate Programs, Department of Medicine, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. The award is endowed by contributions made in honor of the memory of Sidney H. Ingbar and in recognition of the innovation and vision that epitomized his brilliant investigative career.
Dr. Brent’s research interests focus on gene regulation by nuclear acting hormones, particularly thyroid hormone and retinoic acid. His laboratory explores the molecular mechanisms of thyroid hormone action and iodine transport in hormone-dependent cancers. He has conducted research in the area of the thyroid for nearly 25 years, and early in his career made the landmark clinical observation that a woman’s thyroid hormone requirements increase during pregnancy. Women with hypothyroidism may need a higher maintenance dose of thyroid hormone during their pregnancy to avoid potentially adverse effects on the cognitive development of the fetus. This had been an area of continuing clinical interest, and Dr. Brent has contributed to the planning of two ATA Spring Symposia on the topic of thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy and thyroid hormone action in development.
As a result of his research on the mechanisms of hormone-mediated gene regulation, he was the first to report that thyroid hormone receptor binds to direct-repeat DNA response elements. Furthermore, he characterized positive and negative hormone-response elements across a range of genes and made the crucial observation that response element sequence and position are important in conferring negative gene regulation by thyroid hormone. Dr. Brent also demonstrated thyroid hormone receptor isoform specificity in recognition of DNA response elements.
Other key research contributions include the effects of thyroid hormone gene regulation on neural differentiation and mechanisms of metabolic regulation. Dr. Brent was the first researcher to utilize in vitro embryonic stem cell differentiation to study deletions and mutations in the thyroid hormone receptor gene and to characterize their influence on cell differentiation and gene expression. He created a mouse with a mutant thyroid receptor alpha gene and used isoform-selective agonists to study the underlying mechanisms of thyroid hormone metabolic regulation, including adrenergic sensitivity in brown fat, lipolysis in white fat, and antagonism of hepatic PPARα signaling. He discovered that two distinct thyroid receptor-dependent pathways—stimulation of uncoupling protein1 and augmentation of adrenergic responsiveness—are mediated by different receptor isoforms in the same tissue, brown fat. He demonstrated that the thyroid receptor alpha mutant antagonizes PPARα signaling and impairs fatty acid oxidation.
Dr. Brent has also studied sodium iodide symporter (NIS) regulation in thyroid cancer and made the novel observation that retinoids stimulate NIS gene expression and radioiodide concentration, demonstrating this phenomenon in both in vitro and in vivo models of breast cancer. He has reported that retinoids activate NIS in breast cancer via both nuclear and non-nuclear pathways and that retinoic acid receptors directly modulate signal transduction signals through interactions with PI3 kinase.
Currently President of the ATA, Dr. Brent has contributed to the activities and goals of the ATA throughout his career, including serving a term as Secretary. He has served as chair of the NIH Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology Study Section and has been a member of the editorial boards of Thyroid, Molecular Endocrinology, and Endocrinology. Dr. Brent is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the American Association of American Physicians. He has received the ATA’s Van Meter Award, the Knoll Mentor Award from The Endocrine Society, and the UCLA School of Medicine Excellence in Education Award, as well as three UCLA Golden Apple Teaching Awards.
About the ATA Annual Meeting
The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association will be held October 26-30, 2011 at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells (near Palm Springs), California. This four day creative and innovative scientific program, chaired by Drs. Anthony Hollenberg and Martha Zeiger, has carefully balanced clinical and basic science sessions on the latest advances in thyroidology. The ATA meeting is designed to offer continuing education for endocrinologists, internists, surgeons, basic scientists, nuclear medicine scientists, pathologists, endocrine fellows and nurses, physician assistants and other health care professionals. Visit www.thyroid.org for more information.
About the ATA
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 individual membership organization with over 1,400 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 88th anniversary, ATA delivers its mission through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded monthly journals, THYROID, Clinical Thyroidology and Clinical Thyroidology for Patients; 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. Visit www.thyroid.org for more information.
American Thyroid Association
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