The votes have been cast and counted, and the American Thyroid Association (ATA) is pleased to announce that its membership has selected Bryan R. Haugen, MD, as its new President-elect, and Martha A. Zeiger, MD, and Erik K. Alexander, MD, as the newest members of its Board of Directors. At the 81st Annual Meeting of the ATA, October 26-30, 2011, current President-elect, James A. Fagin, MD, took over as president of the ATA, and Secretary-elect John C. Morris, MD became the association’s new Secretary/COO.
Dr. Fagin is Chief of the Endocrine Service and a Member of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He emphasizes the important role the ATA continues to play in promoting thyroid health and combating thyroid disease through the development of clinical guidelines and the broad scope of its publications and educational activities.
“In this era of information overload and ‘Internet Thyroid Diseases,’ the reasoned voice of the ATA needs to be heard,” says Dr. Fagin.
Dr. Morris is Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. “The role of the ATA, in my view, is to provide leadership and scientific and clinical expertise towards the advancement of clinical thyroidology and thyroid research, and to disseminate knowledge and advocate for these topics within its membership, to social and political leaders, and, most importantly, for the patient with thyroid disease,” says Dr. Morris. “I believe the ATA does this better than any other organization.”
Incoming President-elect Dr. Bryan Haugen is Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Colorado Denver and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes. His clinical interests include thyroid nodules and cancer, thyroid dysfunction, and other endocrine neoplasms. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from St. Olaf College and completed his medical degree at the Mayo Medical School. He pursued an internal medicine residency and endocrinology clinical/research fellowship at the University of Colorado, under the mentorship of Dr. E. Chester Ridgway.
“I have greatly benefited from the training and mentorship of many leaders within the ATA,” says Dr. Haugen, expressing his goals to attract enthusiastic members from across all areas of clinical medicine, research, government, patient advocacy, and industry that will continue the ATA’s legacy of leadership in understanding thyroid biology and promoting thyroid health. “The challenges of a rapidly changing medical and reimbursement landscape, regulatory oversight and limited resources are significant. Our philanthropic efforts should be an ongoing priority so we can be a strong independent advocate in all aspects of thyroidology,” states Dr. Haugen.
He has served the ATA in many capacities, including on the Program Committee, Clinical Affairs Committee, and Nominating Committee, as well as a member of the local organizing committee for the 1998 annual meeting. In 2003, he was co-chair of the Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee, and he served on the ATA’s Board of Directors from 2003-2007. He has been an Associate Editor of Thyroid since 2008 and a member of the journal’s editorial board since 1998. In addition, he is currently a Scientific Editor for Endocrine-Related Cancer.
Dr. Martha Zeiger is Chief of Endocrine Surgery, Professor of Surgery, Oncology, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and Co-director of Translational and Basic Research in the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has co-authored several clinical guidelines on thyroid cancer, hyperparathyroidism, and adrenal incidentalomas for the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES) and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE). She was also instrumental in creating and is currently the director of Endocrine Surgery University.
Dr. Zeiger received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her medical degree from The University of Vermont College of Medicine. She served in the United States Navy as a General Medical Officer, and subsequently completed a General Surgical Residency at Maine Medical Center and worked as a Commander and Attending Surgeon at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She completed a fellowship in Surgical Oncology, focusing on endocrine surgery, at the National Cancer Institute.
She has identified two main goals for the ATA over the next several years: to continue to grow in both national and international membership through the inclusion of more comprehensive clinical and basic science programs that include all aspects of clinical care and investigation associated with thyroid disease; and, in an era of limited resources, to seek additional, innovative funding sources to promote clinical and basic science investigation, as well as new patient care initiatives.
Dr. Erik Alexander is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a member of the Thyroid Unit, Department of Medicine at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. In addition, he takes an active role in promoting medical education and is the director of Medical Student Education at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. In this role, he oversees the 3rd year Internal Medicine clerkship and the 4th year subinternship in Internal Medicine, and he is responsible for all medical student activities throughout the 850-bed institution.
His clinical and research interests focus on thyroid disorders, and the evaluation of thyroid nodules and thyroid disorders during pregnancy. At present, he is co-directing a national clinical trial investigating molecular analysis of thyroid nodule aspiration tissue. His is also a member of two national guideline committees. His various roles on ATA committees over the years have included serving as co-chair of the 79th Annual Meeting of the ATA in Chicago, IL.
Dr. Alexander emphasizes the ATA’s efforts to adapt to new challenges, support the needs of its membership, and maintain its recognized leadership in the field of thyroidology. “The ATA has proven its ability to continually push our field forward and promote discovery. Our future will be witness to continuing evolution,” he says. The ATA’s diversity and collaborative efforts are two of its key strengths and linchpins of its success. Continued success will be achieved by expanding the association’s diversity, membership, and synergistic relationships.
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.
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