The Endocrine Society today announced it has chosen 13 leading endocrinologists as winners of its prestigious 2019 Laureate Awards, the top honors in the field.
Endocrinologists are scientists and medical doctors who specialize in unravelling the mysteries of hormone disorders to care for patients and cure diseases. These professionals have achieved breakthroughs in scientific discoveries and clinical care benefitting people with hundreds of conditions, including diabetes, thyroid disorders, obesity, hormone-related cancers, growth problems, osteoporosis, and infertility.
Established in 1944, the Society's Laureate Awards recognize the highest achievements in the endocrinology field, including groundbreaking research and innovations in clinical care. The Endocrine Society will present the awards to the winners at ENDO 2019, the Society's 101st Annual Meeting & Expo, March 23-26, 2019 in New Orleans, La.
The Endocrine Society's 2019 Laureate Award winners are:
- Edward M. Brown, M.D. – Fred Conrad Koch Lifetime Achievement Award. The Society's highest honor, this annual award recognizes lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the field of endocrinology. A Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Senior Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., Brown identified and then cloned a novel receptor that mediates the actions of calcium, known as calcium-sensing receptor or CaSR. His discovery led to improved understanding of inherited and acquired forms of hyper- or hypocalcemia, including familial hypocalciucric hypercalcemia, an inherited condition that causes abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood. His work also identified the molecular target of the calcimimetic drug, cinacalcet, which is used in treating various forms of hyperparathyroidism.
- Helen H. Hobbs, M.D. – Gerald D. Aurbach Award for Outstanding Translational Research. This annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to research that accelerate the transition of scientific discoveries into clinical applications. Hobbs is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and is Director of the McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. Her work created a paradigm shift by demonstrating how rare and low frequency genetic variants contribute to cardiometabolic health and disease. She identified low frequency genetic variants in PCSK9 that led to new treatments for high cholesterol levels. Hobbs has directed the Dallas Heart Study, a phenotypically well-characterized, multiethnic, population-based study in Dallas. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2004 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2007. She was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2015, the Passano Award (with Jonathan Cohen) in 2016, and the Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine in 2018.
- Ana Claudia Latronico, M.D., Ph.D. – International Excellence in Endocrinology Award. This award is presented to an endocrinologist who has made exceptional contributions to the field in geographic areas with underdeveloped resources for hormone health research, education, clinical practice, or administration. Latronico is Professor of Medicine and Head of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Division at the University of Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She has helped build an internationally recognized center for the identification of novel gene mutations associated with endocrine diseases. She developed a pioneer study on the genetic causes of familial central precocious puberty in children, which resulted in the identification of a new inhibitor factor linked to premature sexual development. She previously won the Society's Richard E. Weitzman Award.
- Wiebke Arlt, M.D., D.Sc., F.R.C.P., F.Med.Sci. – Outstanding Clinical Investigator Award. This annual award honors an internationally recognized clinical investigator who has contributed significantly to understanding the pathogenesis and therapy of endocrine and metabolic diseases. Arlt is the William Withering Chair of Medicine and Director of the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research at the University of Birmingham in Birmingham, U.K. Arlt's work has furthered our understanding of and improved outcomes for people with a variety of adrenal conditions. She identified the importance of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in women and demonstrated the benefits of DHEA replacement therapy for many women with primary and adrenal insufficiency. She described new forms of androgen excess that contribute to conditions such as a form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and she has pioneered the concept of urinary steroid metabolomics likely to change the clinical diagnostic work up process for adrenal disorders and tumors.
- James W. Findling, M.D. – Outstanding Clinical Practitioner Award. This annual award recognizes extraordinary contributions by a practicing endocrinologist to the endocrine and/or medical community. Findling is Director of Community Endocrinology Services and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisc. As an acknowledged international expert on Cushing's syndrome, Findling receives referrals from all over the country to consult on challenging cases. He developed inferior petrosal sinus sampling for the differential diagnosis of ACTH-depending Cushing's syndrome. He championed the use of late-night salivary cortisol for the screening and surveillance of patients with Cushing's syndrome, which is now an integral part of the Endocrine Society's Clinical Practice Guideline. He currently serves on the Journal of the Endocrine Society's editorial board.
- Kenneth D. Burman, M.D. – Outstanding Educator Award. This annual award recognizes exceptional achievement as an educator in the discipline of endocrinology and metabolism. As the Chief of the Division of Endocrinology at Medstar Washington Hospital Center and the Director of the Integrated Endocrine Training Program at Georgetown University and Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., Burman has trained more than 140 endocrinologists. He has instilled a passion for endocrinology, research and medicine in his students. Burman also serves as Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He was Deputy Editor of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, and he served as President of the American Thyroid Association.
- John J. Kopchick, M.S., Ph.D. – Outstanding Innovation Award. This award recognizes endocrinologists who have demonstrated innovation and entrepreneurship to further endocrine research or practice in support of the field of endocrinology, patients, and society at large. An internationally-renowned expert in the field of growth hormone research, Kopchick is a Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar and Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology in The Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and in the Edison Biotechnology Institute at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He discovered and characterized the molecular aspects of growth hormone receptor antagonists, which led to the development of the acromegaly drug Somavert (Pegvisomant for injection). Based on this and other discoveries, he created gene-deletion mice that include the growth hormone receptor knock-out and demonstrated the important role of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 axis in longevity.
- William F. Young, Jr., M.D., M.Sc. – Outstanding Leadership in Endocrinology Award. This annual award recognizes outstanding leadership in fundamental or clinical endocrinology. Young is Professor of Medicine and holds the endowed Tyson Family Endocrinology Clinical Professorship at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn. Young has pioneered a new paradigm to detect and successfully manage primary aldosteronism-;the world's most common cause of curable hypertension. As Endocrine Society President (2012-2013), he founded the Highlights of ENDO program that brings presentations to professional meetings in Asia, the Americas and Europe. He also served the endocrine community as the inaugural chair of the Endocrinology Specialty Board at the American Board of Internal Medicine (2014-2018).
- Dolores J. Lamb, Ph.D., H.C.L.D. – Outstanding Mentor Award. This annual award recognizes a career commitment to mentoring and a significant positive impact on mentees' education and career. Lamb is the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Urology, Director of the Center for Reproductive Genomics, and the Dow Professor of Urology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, N.Y. She has served as the primary mentor for ten Ph.D. students, 17 post-doctoral and nearly 100 clinical research fellows working in diverse areas of the endocrine control of male reproductive development and function. Nine of Lamb's trainees are now department chairs in the United States and abroad. She also serves as the principal investigator for training grants to support research career development and male reproductive health research.
- Ian D. Hay, M.D., Ph.D. – Outstanding Scholarly Physician Award. This annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to the practice of clinical endocrinology in academic settings. Since 1983, Hay has been a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He is the Doctor Richard F. Emslander Professor of Endocrine Research and a Professor Medicine in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. An icon in the thyroid cancer field for the past three decades, Hay has made enormous contributions with his work on outcome prediction in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). His studies have examined patient outcomes and identified patient and tumor prognostic variables relevant to postoperative tumor recurrence and cause-specific mortality. In 2018, he published an eight-decade study of 4,432 PTC patients, which demonstrated that advances in biochemistry and imaging introduced to practice since 1976 have not improved outcomes in either children or the 85 percent of adult patients who have low-risk PTC treated during 1976-2015, when compared to an earlier cohort treated during 1936-1975.
- Patrick Seale, Ph.D. – Richard E. Weitzman Outstanding Early Career Investigator Award. This annual award recognizes an exceptionally promising young clinical or basic investigator. As Associate Professor of Cell and Development Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa., Seale has established himself as a leading investigator in the area of adipocyte biology and metabolic disease. His studies have answered fundamental questions about the developmental origins of different types of adipocytes, transcriptional mechanisms of cell fate regulation, and the role of various adipocyte developmental programs in conditions such as aging, obesity and type 2 diabetes. His work has identified critical transcriptional mechanisms that control brown fat development and function.
- Cheryl Lyn Walker, Ph.D. – Roy O. Greep Award for Outstanding Research. This annual award recognizes meritorious contributions to research in endocrinology. Walker holds the Alkek Presidential Chair in Environmental Health at Baylor College of Medicine. Her studies have focused on elucidating mechanisms by which gene-environment and epigenome-environment interactions cause disease. She has made major contributions to our understanding of how environmental exposures, especially to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), disrupt the epigenome and increase risk for hormone-dependent (and other) cancers. One of her most important contributions was the identification of a molecular mechanism for EDC-induced reprogramming of the epigenome of developing tissues to increase disease susceptibility later in life, a process known as developmental reprogramming. She is the founder of both the Center for Translational Environmental Health Research at Texas A&M University and the Center for Precision Environmental Health at Baylor College of Medicine, which she currently directs. In 2016, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
- Carole R. Mendelson, Ph.D. – Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes distinguished service to the Endocrine Society and the field of endocrinology. Mendelson is Professor of Biochemistry and Obstetrics-Gynecology and Director of the North Texas March of Dimes Birth Defects Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. She has worked continuously and tirelessly for the Endocrine Society for more than 30 years, serving on the leadership Council and as Vice President, Basic Science. She served as chair and member of the Annual Meeting Steering Committee, the Education Committee, the Publications Committee, and the Nominations Committee. She was a member of the editorial boards of Endocrine Reviews and Molecular Endocrinology. She served as President of Women in Endocrinology when its mentorship program was created. Mendelson is involved with the Federation of America Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), currently serving on the Training and Career Opportunities subcommittee.