Physician Scientist Specialized in Thyroid Disorders, Dr. Antonio Bianco, Appointed Senior Vice Chair of Internal Medicine and Division Chief of Endocrinology at Rush University Medical Center

Released: 2/14/2014 9:40 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Rush University Medical Center
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Newswise — (CHICAGO)- Dr. Antonio Bianco, a physician scientist working in the thyroid field, has joined Rush University Medical Center as professor of medicine, senior vice chair in the Department of Internal Medicine and division chief of endocrinology at Rush University Medical Center effective February 3rd.

Bianco joins Rush from the University of Miami Health System where he served as professor of medicine and chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.

“Bianco brings to Rush more than 30 years of experience in thyroid research,” said Dr. Jochen Reiser, chairman, Department of Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center, and The Ralph C. Brown MD Professor. “Tony has been recognized with a number of national and international awards, membership in prestigious medical societies and is currently a member in the board of scientific counselors of The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The fact that he has been recently asked by the American Thyroid Association to lead two task forces charged with drafting guidelines for Thyroid Research (chair) and for Treatment of Hypothyroidism (co-chair), illustrates what a well-rounded thyroid investigator he is.”

Bianco’s research interests have been in the cellular and molecular physiology of the enzymes that control thyroid hormone action, i.e. the iodothyronine deiodinases, an area in which he contributed more than 200 papers, book chapters and review articles, and lectured extensively both nationally and internationally. Recently, he has focused on the aspects of the deiodination pathway that interfere with treatment of hypothyroid patients, a disease that affects more than 10 million Americans. He directs an NIH-funded research laboratory where he has mentored almost 40 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

“I have worked for many years on defining the most fundamental aspects of thyroid hormone economy and recently our group has identified important mechanisms that regulate thyroid hormone activation that might help hypothyroid patients achieve clinical euthyroidism,” said Bianco. “I am pleased to see how the product of our studies primarily focused on cells and animal models is being successfully translated to clinical practice.”

Bianco, a native of São Paulo, Brazil, attended the Dante Alighieri High School and College. He received his medical degree and was a house officer at Santa Casa Hospital Medical School in 1983, and trained in Endocrinology at the Federal University of Sao Paulo. Bianco’s academic work has helped establish the importance of local control of thyroid hormone activation and inactivation in development, metabolic control and energy homeostasis. His initial interest in this area formed while he was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School under J. Enrique Silva M.D. Upon returning to the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil his group demonstrated that deiodinases create a state of local “hyperthyroidism” in brown adipose tissue, key for its adaptive thermogenic mechanisms. This work laid the groundwork for the modern concept of how deiodinases regulate thyroid hormone signaling on a tissue-specific basis without antecedent changes in plasma thyroid hormone concentrations. In 1998, Dr. Bianco immigrated to the U.S., going back to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital as an Associate Professor and eventually Chief of the Thyroid Section. In his 10-year tenure at the Brigham, Bianco expanded his studies to cell biology of the deiodinases, discovering one type of deiodinase can be inactivated through WSB-1-mediated ubiquitination, a process that is stimulated by members of the Hedgehog morphogen family.

In 2008, Dr. Bianco was recruited to Miami to become Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. As Endocrine Chief, Dr. Bianco recruited 14 new faculty members, instrumental in establishing a critical mass that provides clinical expertise in most endocrine subareas. He also expanded his lab and continued focused on understanding the biology and biochemistry of the deiodinases, and their contribution to metabolic control in health and disease. Learn more about Bianco’s work by visiting www.BiancoLab.org

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About Rush University
Rush University is a private, health sciences university offering more than 30 unique degree or certificate options in medicine, nursing, allied health and biomedical research. Rush University is comprised of Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences, and the Graduate College.

Founded in 1972, Rush University, with more than 2,000 students, is the academic component of Rush University Medical Center. The university is distinct for its practitioner-teacher model, translational research, nurturing academic environment and focus on community and global health. Seven programs in the College of Nursing and three programs in the College of Health Sciences are ranked among the top 18 nationwide in the 2012 edition of the “America’s Best Graduate Schools” survey published annually by U.S. News & World Report.


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