About WIT: Mission/Initiatives

Women in Thyroidology - WIT 2022

Mission and Objectives of Women in Thyroidology (WIT):

Women in Thyroidology (WIT) was founded in 2002 as an all-inclusive community of American Thyroid Association (ATA) members across backgrounds, genders, and subspecialties. Through advocacy and empowerment, WIT aims to foster an environment that addresses the unique challenges of women in the field of thyroidology, to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women advancing thyroid research and clinical care, and to promote gender equity in the thyroidology workforce.


  • Developing year-round webinars, workshops, and programs on topics of interest
  • Coordinating an onsite networking and mentorship/sponsorship opportunity event during the ATA Annual Meeting
  • Formulating a WIT plenary to be held at each ATA Annual Meeting, in conjunction with the Program Committee
  • Promoting nominations of female ATA members for the annual ATA Awards, for leadership positions on the ATA Board of Directors, and for the editorial boards of the ATA journals
  • Coordinating the annual WIT Woman of the Year Award to be celebrated at the ATA Annual Meeting
  • Collaborating with the ATA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and other groups to support inclusivity, leadership growth, and career development of female ATA members

2023 – 2024 WIT Leadership –Bios and Photos

Naifa Busaidy, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – WIT Chair

Naifa Busaidy is Tenured Professor at University of Texas–MD Anderson Cancer Center. Clinical & research expertise/interests are primarily focused-driven to improve outcomes in advanced thyroid carcinomas patients.

Dr. Busaidy attended Baylor College of Medicine medical school, residency and fellowship with research fellowship-UT MD Anderson to advance her clinical/research knowledge in Endocrine Tumors. She joined the UTMDACC faculty where she serves on committees & directs thyroid nodule clinic.

She serves as PI/Co-PI of NCI and industry trials with aims to identify molecular mechanisms of disease progression and targets for improving response to therapy. She serves on NCCN Thyroid Cancer Guidelines, NCI’s PI3K/mTOR taskforce and advisory boards/consultant for oncology groups/industry to shape the treatment spectrum of thyroid cancer.

She has published extensively on thyroid cancer/Endocrine effects of cancer therapy and sits on various guidelines committees. She serves on the boards of both International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG) and American Thyroid Association (ATA). She also serves several endocrine societies, where she served on various committees, including: program, research grant and awards committees and is a fellow of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE).

Laura Boucai, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – WIT Chair-Elect

Laura Boucai, MD is an Associate Member at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. She graduated from Universidad de Buenos Aires, completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Cornell and an Endocrinology Fellowship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she joined the faculty soon after. Her research interests have focused on thyroid cancer biology. Surrounded by a multidisciplinary team of basic scientists, pathologists, medical oncologists and radiologists at Memorial Sloan Kettering, she studies the genomic and transcriptomic landscape of thyroid cancer to attempt to find new therapeutic strategies for the most advanced forms of the disease. Her current research efforts concentrate on describing the genomic profile of exceptional responders to RAI and understanding the effects of radioactive iodine on the hematopoietic system. Dr. Boucai is an active member of the Endocrine Society where she serves on the Annual Meeting Steering Committee for ENDO2024. She also serves on the board of the International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG) and as liaison for the Membership Committee at ITOG. She has been appointed chair of the Corporate Leadership Council within ITOG. The American Thyroid Association (ATA) has been her professional home. She has had multiple roles within the ATA including member of the Surgical Affairs committee, member and Chair of the Nominating Committee, Co-chair of the ATA Spring Symposium 2020, and Co-chair of the first ATA Leadership Course. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of the Endocrine Society and she is an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Endocrinology. Dr Boucai is a strong advocate for national and international trainees interested in thyroidology. Her bicultural background and strong commitment to education allows her to bridge knowledge gaps locally and in developing countries and expand the professional network of collaborators. As Chair-Elect of WIT, Dr. Boucai hopes to contribute to its crucial mission of engaging and supporting women’s professional growth in the field of thyroidology.

Maria Papaleontiou, MD

Maria Papaleontiou, MD, University of Michigan – WIT Past Chair

Maria Papaleontiou, MD, is an an adult endocrinologist at the University of Michigan with a clinical and research focus on thyroidology and aging. I have been a member of the ATA since 2011 and for the past decade it has been my scientific home. The ATA has played an instrumental role in my career development from the get-go and I have been impressed by the spirit of inclusivity, collegiality and support. I have served on several committees including the Patient Affairs and Education Committee, the Research Committee, the Survey Evaluation Task Force and the 2020 Spring Satellite Symposium Program Committee. I am currently on the ATA Annual Program Committee, an Associate Editor for Clinical Thyroidology and on the Editorial Boards of Thyroid and Clinical Thyroidology for the Public. Illustrative of my passion to actively support women’s advancement, this year I diligently advocated for more deserving women to be nominated for ATA awards, which included writing letters of support for strong women candidates (as Dr. Castro mentioned in her last newsletter only 11% of awards have gone to women to date), as well as advocating for increased representation of women in committees and speaking engagements. I also recently received the 2020 Women Advancing Thyroid Research Award. In addition, I have and continue to mentor several female trainees and ensure the inclusion of several clinical female faculty in my research projects to help boost their publication track records and their academic promotion. At the regional level, this year I participated in the State of Michigan American Cancer Society ResearcHERS initiative, a campaign aimed at raising funds in order to bring attention to women cancer researchers. Over the years, I had the opportunity to attend the annual WIT events and to learn from and network with strong women role models. These interactions have inspired me to also strive for women advancement, and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion. In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic when disparities have become more apparent, and women are particularly faced with additional barriers in their career advancement, this initiative is a step towards reducing the gap in support for all aspects of women’s professional lives. I am committed to WIT, an organization that fosters a collegial environment in a multidisciplinary and diverse setting, and will continue to work hard to recruit and retain women ATA members, increase the visibility of women within the ATA, as well as engaging them to promote professional and personal growth.

Gabriela Brenta, MD, PhD, Dr. Cesar Milstein Care Unit

Dr. Gabriela Brenta is a staff member of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Dr. Cesar Milstein Care Unit in Buenos Aires, where she coordinates the Thyroid Unit. She is also a member of the Argentine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (SAEM) with active participation in its Thyroid Department. Dr. Brenta holds the rank of Assistant Professor at the Medical School of the University of Buenos Aires. Her areas of interest in clinical research include the cardiovascular and metabolic effects of thyroid hormones and the study of thyroid diseases, including nodular disease, in the elderly. Original papers and reviews have been published in Thyroid, Nature, and JCEM. She is also a member of the editorial board of Thyroid and Journal of Endocrinology Investigation. In June 2019, Dr. Brenta just ended her term as President of the Latin American Thyroid Society (LATS), and in 2020 was engaged on behalf of LATS in the Scientific Committee of the 16th International Thyroid Congress and also in the Scientific Committee of the 19th International Congress of Endocrinology. In 2023 she was included in the Scientific Committee of LATS Congress 2023 Curitiba, Brazil.

Rachel Pessah-Pollack, MD, New York University Langone Health

Rebecca Sippel, MD, University of Wisconsin

Rebecca Sippel, M.D., FACS, is a tenured Professor of Surgery, Chief of the Division of Endocrine Surgery, and Vice Chair of Academic Affairs and Professional Development at the University of Wisconsin.  She is a nationally recognized leader in the field of endocrine surgery.  She is currently serving as the program director for the Endocrine Surgery Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin.  She is past Secretary of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons and past President of Association for Academic Surgery.  She has a highly productive clinical research program focusing on the diagnosis and management of patients with endocrine disorders and the outcomes of patients after surgery.  She recently completed an R01 funded randomized controlled trial examining the utility of prophylactic central neck dissection for patients with clinically node negative thyroid cancer and is interested in evaluating the impact of thyroid cancer treatment on patient quality of life.