Thyroid Research

In the Thyroid Research Unit, Joshua Safer, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Molecular Medicine, works on the characterization of thyroid hormone action on skin with molecular, cell culture, and in vivo models. Dr. Safer’s lab has determined that epidermal proliferation depends on thyroid hormone. As well, the group found that pharmacological doses of topical thyroid hormone can stimulate epidermal proliferation and hair growth in mice. Recent discoveries include the acceleration of wound healing with topical thyroid hormone and the establishment of the utility of using iopanoic acid as a modifier of cutaneous cell proliferation.

Elizabeth Pearce, MD, MSc, Associate Professor of Medicine, conducts clinical and epidemiologic research in areas including the sufficiency of dietary iodine in the U.S., thyroid function in pregnancy, the thyroid effects of environmental perchlorate exposure and other potential endocrine disruptors, and the cardiovascular effects of subclinical thyroid dysfunction.

Lewis Braverman, MD,Professor of Medicine, with Sam Pino and Xuemei He, directs the Iodine Research Laboratory. This lab provides state-of-the-art analyses of iodine, perchlorate and thiocyanate in urine, serum, biological tissues, and food samples to researchers and health care providers on a local, regional, and international level.  Sensitive assays for measurement of urinary and serum perchlorate have been established.  These assays have been employed to study the potential effects of the thyroid inhibitors of iodine uptake, perchlorate, and thiocyanate, on thyroid function in various U.S. and foreign populations, especially pregnant and lactating women and their neonates, including premature babies in the ICU who are dependent solely on enteric and/or intravenous feedings.

These ongoing studies have resulted in numerous publications in well refereed periodicals over the past 3 years.  Elizabeth Pearce, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine,  and Sun Lee, MD, Instructor of Medicine, are outstanding collaborators and investigators in these ongoing studies.

Stephanie Lee, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, maintains an interest in the molecular biology associated with thyroid malignancy. She is currently investigating the role of molecular markers in the thyroid cancer within a database of thyroid cancer patients that she maintains.

September 29, 2016
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine