Meet the 2021 Laureates: Richard J. Auchus, MD, PhD

Carol Bradford, Richard Auchus

Outstanding Clinical Investigator Award

Richard J. Auchus, MD, PhD

Rich Auchus is professor of medicine and pharmacology at the University of Michigan and the world’s foremost authority on steroid-related diseases. His pioneering science has transformed fundamental principles of steroid biosynthesis, and his clinical investigation has repeatedly changed clinical practice — for androgen synthesis, endocrine hypertension, and hypercortisolism. He determined the genetic and biochemical basis of isolated 17,20-lyase deficiency and many cases of 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (CYP17A1) deficiency.

With Walter Miller, he showed that cytochrome b5 activates 17,20- lyase activity allosterically by increasing coupling of electron transfer to androgen synthesis. With Jean Wilson, he described the alternative, “backdoor” pathway to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), first in marsupials and then in human diseases — a revolution for androgen biology. With Nima Sharifi, he described another pathway of DHT synthesis in castration-resistant prostate cancer and showed that a common HSD3B1 allele increases enzyme stability, accumulation, and androgen synthesis in these cancers.

He made crucial contributions to the clinical development of abiraterone acetate for prostate cancer, and he repurposed abiraterone for treating congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Using elegant mass spectrometry methods, his team showed that the predominant androgen and best predictor of long-term CAH disease control is 11-ketotestosterone, not conventional androgens. He showed that adrenalectomy affords significant clinical benefits for mild Cushing syndrome and established that rapid cortisol assays improve the success of adrenal vein sampling for primary aldosteronism. His team has brought several new drugs to clinical trials for Cushing syndrome and CAH, frequently as top US recruiters.

Dr. Auchus’ insight is widely sought and respected: he co-authored the Endocrine Society’s position statement on testosterone assays, the definitive review on steroidogenesis and its disorders, the Endocrine Society’s revised clinical practice guidelines for CAH. He a skilled teacher and mentor who is widely sought for his inspiring lectures, and he is an OUTSTANDING choice for the 2021 Clinical Investigator Award.


You may also like

  • Meet New Endocrine Society President, John Newell-Price, MD, PhD

    The Endocrine Society is pleased to welcome its president for 2024 – 2025, John Newell-Price, MD, PhD, FRCP, who took office during ENDO 2024 in Boston. Newell-Price is Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. He is also head of the Endocrinology Service at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and of…

  • Applauding Our Asian American Members: Endocrine News Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

    In honor of National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Endocrine News reached out to several of our U.S.-based Asian members to get their thoughts on their careers, accomplishments, goals, and even their challenges, as well as advice they have for any young Asian American endocrinologists just beginning their careers. Since 2009, when President…

Find more in