Thyroid Research

Joshua Safer

Elizabeth Pearce

Lewis Braverman

Stephanie Lee

Angela Leung

In the Thyroid Research Unit, Joshua Safer, M.D., 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, M.D., MSc, Associate Professor of Medicine, conductsclinical and epidemiologic research in areas including the sufficiencyof dietary iodine in the U.S., thyroid function in pregnancy, thethyroid effects of environmental perchlorate exposure and otherpotential endocrine disruptors, and the cardiovascular effects ofsubclinical thyroid dysfunction.

Lewis Braverman, M.D.,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 thicyanate 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 thicyanate, 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, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine,  and Angela Leung, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, are outstanding collaborators and investigators in these ongoing studies.

Stephanie Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, maintains an interest in the molecular biology associated with thyroid malignancy.

Angela Leung, M.D., MSc, is an Assistant Professor with a research focus in iodine nutrition, thyroid disease, epidemiology, and women’s health.  She has studied the effects of environmental inhibitors (primary perchlorate and thicyanate) on iodine availability and thyroid function in mothers and their infants, the iodine content of U.S. prenatal multivitamins, and factors affecting breastmilk iodine concentrations.  She maintains interests in clinical research studies related to iodine status and thyroid function, particularly during pregnancy and lactation.


March 13, 2012
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine