The Endocrine Society today announced it has selected 14 leaders in the endocrinology field as winners of its prestigious 2018 Laureate Awards.
These professionals are responsible for research breakthroughs that lead to the cures of tomorrow and for providing the gold standard of care for patients with hundreds of conditions and diseases including diabetes, thyroid disorders, obesity, hormone-related cancers, growth problems, reproduction, 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 2018, the Society’s 100th Annual Meeting & Expo, March 17–20, 2018 in Chicago, Ill.
The Endocrine Society’s 2018 Laureate Award winners are:
- Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, MD – 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. As a Distinguished Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and Department of Internal Medicine, Barrett-Connor is the first to show that fasting glucose is a heart disease risk factor, that isolated post challenge hyperglycemia is more common and a stronger heart disease risk factor than fasting hyperglycemia, and that proinsulin is a stronger heart disease risk factor than serum insulin. Barrett-Connor has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on numerous studies and trials, including founding and leading the landmark Rancho Bernardo Study of Healthy Aging, now in its 45th year. An author of more than 1,000 publications and recipient of numerous awards, Barrett-Connor won the Society’s Clinical Investigator Award Lecture in 2003.
- V. Craig Jordan, OBE, DSc, PhD – 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. Jordan is the Dallas/Ft. Worth Living Legend Chair of Cancer Research, and serves as Professor of Breast Medical Oncology and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston. Jordan’s career initially focused on understanding the use of tamoxifen to treat breast cancer. Tamoxifen is the pioneering first member of a group of medicines Jordan created called Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) to improve women’s health. Millions of women have lived longer because of the use of tamoxifen to treat breast cancer. Other SERMS, notably raloxifene, are successful in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, but prevent breast cancer at the same time. Jordan’s accomplishments include being elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2009, American Cancer Society Medal of Honor, and receiving the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II for services to international breast cancer research.
- Christos Mantzoros, MD, MSc – 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. Mantzoros is Chief of the Nutrition Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Chief of the Endocrine Section at the VA Boston Healthcare System, both affiliated with Harvard Medical School, where Mantzoros serves as Professor of Medicine. Mantzoros has published over 725 scientific articles, with more than 46,000 citations. He is a true innovator and leader in the field of metabolism, as evidenced by the novel findings he has published, the novel compounds he has developed, the successful biotech companies he co-founded and his excellent track record of funding over the past two decades. Mantzoros’ translational contributions propelled forward the elucidation of the physiology and therapeutic utility on leptin in humans, the development of insulin sensitizer CHRS-131, the role of adiponectin and the IGF system in malignancies, and the physiology of other key adipokines, myokines, and gastrointestinal tract hormones in humans. Mantzoros has received several prestigious awards, honorary doctoral degrees, and visiting and honorary professorships worldwide.
- Carolyn Becker, MD – Outstanding Educator Award. This annual award recognizes exceptional achievement as an educator in the discipline of endocrinology and metabolism. A national leader in clinical endocrinology, Becker is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the “Master Clinician Educator” in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). After serving as the first Vice President, Physician-in-Practice of the Endocrine Society, she chaired the Society’s Clinical Endocrinology Update (CEU) Steering Committee, and currently heads the Calcium Section of the Society’s Endocrine Board Review (EBR). Becker has received numerous teaching awards at HMS and remains devoted to the education of students, residents, fellows, and clinical practitioners. In recognition of her accomplishments, she was honored as a “Distinguished Clinician” at BWH in 2016.
- Leonard Wartofsky, MD – Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes distinguished service to the Endocrine Society and the field of endocrinology. Wartofsky is on the endocrinology faculty at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. Wartofsky is also Professor of Medicine, Anatomy, Physiology and Genetics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md, in addition to being a Professor of Medicine at the Schools of Medicine at Georgetown University, Howard University, George Washington University, and the University of Maryland. Wartofsky served on the Society’s Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Hormone Health Network before becoming the Society’s President from 2007–2008. He chaired the Clinical Endocrinology Update (CEU) and founded and directed the Endocrine Board Review (EBR). Wartofsky is currently Editor-in-Chief for Endocrine Reviews and served in a similar role for the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. He is also an ex-officio member of the Society’s Publications Core Committee, and chaired several other committees, including the Annual Program Committee.
- Robert V. Farese, Jr., MD – Roy O. Greep Award for Outstanding Research. This annual award recognizes meritorious contributions to research in endocrinology. Farese is Professor of Genetics and Complex Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. He has made seminal contributions to the understanding of cellular lipid metabolism. Farese and co-workers discovered the enzymatic basis for mammalian triglyceride synthesis, via two unrelated enzymes, DGAT1 and DGAT2. Farese’s work has shown how alterations in lipid synthesis and storage contribute to the pathogenesis of human diseases, in particular type 2 diabetes, and has suggested new targets for therapy. Farese has also pioneered the cell biology of lipid droplets, the cellular organelle responsible for storing triglycerides and metabolic energy, including identifying hundreds of genes that govern lipid storage in cells. Farese was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and is a past recipient of the Freedom to Discover Award.
- Barry Komm, PhD – 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. Initiated well before 1996 but spurred on in part by the results of the Women’s Health Initiative showing that the combination of conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone increased the risk of breast cancer when given as a hormone replacement, Komm along with his colleague Richard Lyttle, Ph.D., initiated experiments to test the idea of combining estrogens with a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM). Despite skepticism from colleagues, Komm persisted to show the combination of conjugated estrogens plus the SERM bazedoxifene maintained the beneficial effects of the conjugated estrogens on menopausal symptoms and bone while eliminating the unwanted estrogenic effects on the uterus and breast. The combination, marketed as Duavee®, is the first novel (not simply an estrogen and progestin) hormone therapy for the treatment of hot flashes and the prevention of osteoporosis.
- Paul M. Stewart, MD, FRCP, FMedSci – 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. Stewart is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health and Dean of the Medical School at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. In his role as Secretary/Treasurer of the International Society of Endocrinology (ISE), representing more than 55,000 endocrinologists worldwide, Stewart facilitated the establishment and regional development of National Endocrine Societies across Africa, China, and Asia, as well as providing a strong international voice and leadership within the Endocrine Society. He has brought organizations together notably through his leadership of a unique collaboration between the Endocrine Society, the ISE, the Society for Endocrinology in the UK, and the Endocrine Society of India to develop the International Clinical Update in Endocrinology (ICUE) initiative.
- Lawrence Frohman, MD – Outstanding Leadership in Endocrinology Award. This annual award recognizes outstanding leadership in fundamental or clinical endocrinology. Frohman is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a pioneer in neuroendocrinology, Frohman performed work on the hypothalamic control of growth hormone secretion, and identified and partially purified a growth hormone-releasing hormone from pancreatic and lung tumors, which led to the isolation and sequencing of the hormone and has published extensively on its regulation of gene expression, secretion, and action. Frohman is a former Chair of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he re-built its research, education, and clinical programs. He has directed fellowship training programs for medical doctors and doctorate-level physicians and scientists—many of whom who are now in leadership positions across the globe. Frohman is a former Council member of the Society and received the organization’s Rorer Clinical Investigation Award in 1991.
- Joel Habener, MA, MD – Outstanding Mentor Award. This annual award recognizes a career commitment to mentoring and a significant positive impact on mentees’ education and career. Habener is Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Endocrinology, at Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. A pioneer in the identification and characterization of peptide hormone genes, transcription factors and mechanisms regulating β-cell function and survival, Habener has mentored physicians and scientists who themselves have trained hundreds of students and fellows. A notable feature of Habener’s work is training new fellows with only clinical training who have never worked in a lab. Habener’s mentorship of more than 30 years has spawned leaders in the fields of basic science, clinical medicine, academic administration, and industry. Habener has instilled in his trainees the importance of active participation with the Endocrine Society, and many of his trainees have become members and leaders in the Society. He won the Society’s Edwin B. Astwood Award Lecture and the Robert H. Williams Distinguished Leadership Award, and remains active with the Society.
- Irl Hirsch, MD – Outstanding Public Service Award. This award recognizes the individuals who best demonstrate dedication to public awareness or public service in support of the field of endocrinology and the patients who suffer from endocrine disorders. As the Medical Director for the Diabetes Care Center at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., Hirsch is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on type 1 diabetes. Having type 1 diabetes himself, Hirsch has devoted his entire academic career to the promotion of diabetes awareness and improving the lives of patients with diabetes. He has engaged lawmakers to promote funding for diabetes education, care, and research. Hirsch has advocated for insulin affordability. His opinions on this topic have resulted, in part, in formal statements by the Endocrine Society and the American Diabetes Association.
- Marcello D. Bronstein, MD, PhD – Outstanding Clinical Practitioner Award. This annual award recognizes extraordinary contributions by a practicing endocrinologist to the endocrine and/or medical community. Bronstein is the Chief of the Neuroendocrine Unit, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Hospital das Clinicas and Professor of Endocrinology at the University of São Paulo. He is also Medical Director and a clinical staff member of Endoclinica de São Paulo, a prestigious private clinic in Brazil, where he treats patients with pituitary disorders. Described as a physician-healer-scholar-investigator, Bronstein has been at the forefront of advancing important questions in clinical neuroendocrinology, including mechanisms underlying dopamine therapy resistance as well as assessing novel molecules for treating pituitary tumors and hormone hypersecretory syndromes. Bronstein’s discovery for the utility of exploiting gonadal steroid regulation of growth hormone in the treatment of acromegaly has spawned a new vista of therapeutic opportunity for safely lowering insulin-like growth factor 1.
- Shlomo Melmed, MD – Outstanding Scholarly Physician Award. This annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to the practice of clinical endocrinology in academic settings. Melmed is Executive Vice President and Dean at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Integrating clinical practice with cutting-edge pituitary discovery, Melmed has elucidated mechanisms for paracrine pituitary growth factor regulation of hormone hypersecretion and pituitary tumorigenesis, developed novel molecules for pituitary tumor therapy, and served as global principal investigator for U.S. somatostatin analog registration trials. Melmed has co-authored three pituitary Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guidelines, served on the organization’s Council, is a former Editor-in-Chief for Endocrinology, and co-edits Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. In 2004, Melmed won the Society’s Clinical Investigator Award and in 2010, the Fondation IPSEN Endocrine Regulation Prize and Transatlantic Medal of the British Endocrine Society.
- Gregory Steinberg, PhD – Richard E. Weitzman Outstanding Early Career Investigator Award. This annual award recognizes an exceptionally promising young clinical or basic investigator. Steinberg is a tenured Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. He is also Co-Director of the Metabolism and Childhood Obesity Research Program and the J. Bruce Duncan Chair in Metabolic Diseases at the school. Steinberg has established new paradigms by which energy sensing, endocrine factors, and commonly used medications regulate metabolism. These findings have important implications for many chronic diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Steinberg has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars and Scientists. In 2017, Steinberg won the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.