During the 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association (ATA) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, ATA committee members evaluated over 80 abstract posters for their scientific quality and presentation. Congratulations to the 2013 Trainee Poster Contest Winners! Read more about these outstanding young investigators and their winning abstracts here.

The 83rd Annual Meeting of the ATA  abstracts

Dr. Aigerim Bizhanova Dr. Aigerim Bizhanova was born and raised in Kazakhstan. After obtaining B.S. in Biochemistry from Kazakh National University in Almaty, she came to the United States to attend the Master’s program in Genetics at Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina. After graduating from Clemson University in 2006, she started the Integrated Graduate Program in Life Sciences at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. A year later, she joined Dr. Peter Kopp’s laboratory in the Division of Endocrinology. For her doctoral dissertation, she investigated cellular pathways involved in the plasma membrane targeting of pendrin/SLC26A4 in thyroid cells. She has also functionally characterized carboxy-terminal mutants of the protein. After completing her PhD program, she continued research on pendrin in Kopp’s laboratory for one more year as a postdoctoral fellow. She is currently teaching full-time in the Department of Biology at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA.

“I really enjoyed attending the ATA meeting in Puerto Rico because it gave me a chance to learn about the recent discoveries in the thyroid research. I also attended workshops for ATA trainees, which I think were very helpful for early career scientists like me. The meeting also allowed me to meet and network with other scientists. I was glad to meet one of our collaborators from Brazil, Dr. Maria Tereza Nunes (she is a co-author on my poster) and her research group. I enjoyed presenting my poster and answering questions about my research project and was very happy when I learned that I won the trainees’ poster contest.”Aigerim Bizhanova, PhD, Northwestern University, Poster 113 –  “Chloride Channel 5, an Alternative Apical Iodide Transporter in Thyrocytes?”

Dr. Liora S. Katz Dr. Liora S. Katz is a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health in the laboratory of Dr. Marvin Gershengorn. Her research fields include diabetes, obesity and role the thyroid hormones in cell differentiation. Dr. Katz combines molecular biology, biochemistry, epigenetics, pharmacology, physiology and cell biology approaches in her research. She has published in a variety of scientific peer reviewed journals and presented her data in numerous national and international conferences. Dr. Katz holds a PhD from the department of Endocrinology, diabetes and Nutrition, Geneva University, Switzerland and MSc in biological chemistry and BSc degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

“Meeting was very educative. I enjoyed the vast interest in my poster and appreciated the scientific input. Winning the trainee poster award was a big honor and motivation to pursue my research in the field of Endocrinology”
Poster 148 – “T3 and Glucose Coordinately Stimulate Brown Adipose Tissue (Bat) to Become Hypermetabolic”
Liora Katz, PhD, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Mark PaceDr. Mark Pace is an endocrinologist from Melbourne, Australia with a sub-specialty interest in endocrine oncology and in particular, thyroid cancer.  After completing endocrinology specialty training at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne in 2011, he undertook a clinical fellowship in the management of neuroendocrine tumors and thyroid cancer at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.  He is currently completing a thyroid cancer fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center under the supervision of Dr R. Michael Tuttle.  He looks forward to implementing the knowledge and skills he has gained thus far to enhance the management of patients with thyroid cancer and contribute to the existing body of knowledge in the field.

“The 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association was my first opportunity to attend an ATA meeting and so I was particularly grateful to have an abstract selected for poster presentation.  I was genuinely impressed by the interest the poster received and am thankful for the recognition of this award, which is an added bonus that provides welcome encouragement at this early stage in my career.”
Short Call Poster 8 – “Properly Selected Patients with Papillary Thyroid Cancer Readily Accept Active Surveillance When Offered as a Standard of Care Alternative to Immediate Surgery”
Mark Pace, MD, MBBS, FRACP, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Katherine Cox Dr. Katherine Cox is a fourth year medical student at George Washington University School of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate training at James Madison University with a B.S. in biology and subject area honors. She will be attending Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for her internal medicine residency. She is grateful for the mentorship of Dr. Stagnaro-Green.

“I absolutely loved my time at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the ATA in Puerto Rico. I was thrilled to experience speaking to leaders in the field.  Winning the trainees poster contest was such an unexpected honor.”
Poster 68 – “Maternal Graves ‘ Disease and Neonatal Developmental Hip Dysplasia”
Katherine Cox, George Washington University School of Medicine

Trainees' Corner