Newswise — Falls Church, Virginia. Sep. 19, 2012 – The American Thyroid Association (ATA) today announced today announced that Nancy Carrasco, MD, of the Yale School of Medicine, will deliver the plenary lecture on Sept. 20 at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association in Québec City, Québec, Canada.
“Dr. Carrasco is best known for the cloning of the sodium iodide transporter, and the detailed characterization of its structure and function. She has extended her studies into its role in normal physiology of the thyroid, breast and gastrointestinal tract, and in cancers of the thyroid and other tissues,” said ATA President James A. Fagin, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “We are delighted to welcome her back as one of our plenary speakers and eager to learn about her exciting new discoveries."
Dr. Carrasco’s lecture will focus on her research on the Na+/I- symporter (NIS), the key plasma membrane protein that mediates active iodide transport in the thyroid and other tissues, the expression of NIS in extrathyroidal tissues (including cancers other than thyroid cancer), unexpected properties of the molecule, the discovery of novel modes of NIS regulation involving a K+ channel, and the optimization of NIS molecules for gene transfer studies.
Dr. Carrasco received her medical degree and Masters in Biochemistry from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City, and her postdoctoral training on a Fogarty International Fellowship from NIH in the laboratory of Dr. Ronald Kaback at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in New Jersey. After being appointed as a faculty member in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, Dr. Carrasco cloned the cDNA that encodes NIS – a feat researchers had pursued for decades.
Dr. Carrasco has since devoted her career to the study of membrane proteins, with an emphasis on the characterization of NIS at the molecular level. She has uncovered mechanistic and structure/function information on NIS with potential clinical applications, including the possibility of engineering optimized NIS molecules for gene transfer studies aimed at extending NIS-mediated radioiodide therapy to extrathyroidal cancers.
Dr. Carrasco is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the Pew Award in the Biomedical Sciences (1989), the Beckman Foundation Award (USA, 1991), the Maria Sibylla Merian Award (Germany, 1998), the Merck Prize awarded by the European Thyroid Association (Poland, 2001), the Rose Pitt-Rivers Lectureship (Scotland, 2003), the Noun Shavit Award (Israel, 2008), the Marshall S. Horwitz Faculty Award for Research Excellence (New York, 2009), and the Light of Life Award (New York, 2011).
About the ATA Annual Meeting The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association is held Sept.19-23, in Québec City, Québec, Canada. This four-day creative and innovative scientific program, chaired by Elizabeth Pearce, MD, Boston Medical Center, and Douglas Forrest, PhD, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, carefully balances clinical and basic science sessions on the latest advances in thyroidology. The ATA meeting is designed to offer continuing education for endocrinologists, internists, surgeons, basic scientists, nuclear medicine scientists, pathologists, endocrine fellows and nurses, physician assistants and other health care professionals. Visit www.thyroid.org for more information.
About the ATA The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international individual membership organization with over 1,600 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 89th anniversary, ATA delivers its mission through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded monthly journals, THYROID, Clinical Thyroidology and Clinical Thyroidology for Patients; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs through www.thyroid.org; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease. Visit www.thyroid.org for more information.
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