Press Release

Endocrine Society honors endocrinology field’s leaders with 2020 Laureate Awards

Washington, DC October 01, 2019

The Endocrine Society today announced it has chosen 13 leading endocrinologists as winners of its prestigious 2020 Laureate Awards, the top honors in the field.

Endocrinologists are scientists and medical doctors who specialize in unravelling the mysteries of hormone disorders to care for patients and cure diseases. These professionals have achieved breakthroughs in scientific discoveries and clinical care benefitting people with hundreds of conditions, including diabetes, thyroid disorders, obesity, hormone-related cancers, growth problems, osteoporosis, and infertility.

Established in 1944, the Society’s Laureate Awards recognize the highest achievements in the endocrinology field, including groundbreaking research and innovations in clinical care. The Endocrine Society will present the awards to the winners at ENDO 2020, the Society’s annual meeting, March 28-31, 2020 in San Francisco, California, USA.

“Our Laureate Awards celebrate the most remarkable endocrinologists in the world, whose transformative research, mentorship, public service, and translation of science to practice has earned them a place in endocrine history,” said Endocrine Society President, E. Dale Abel, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa. “These, our highest awards, recognize endocrine scientists and clinicians at the pinnacle of the field as well as young endocrinologists who are blazing trails and emerging as our future leaders.”

The Endocrine Society’s 2020 Laureate Award winners are:

Richard J. Santen, M.D. – Fred Conrad Koch Lifetime Achievement Award. The Society’s highest honor, this annual award recognizes lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the field of endocrinology. Santen is professor of medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., and a past president of the Endocrine Society. His research uncovered the role of hormones in breast cancer and pioneered the development of aromatase inhibitors, now the standard of care treatment. His expertise in estrogens led to a strong clinical interest in the treatment of menopause and to his selection by the Endocrine Society to write a definitive Scientific Statement on this topic.

Donald P. McDonnell, Ph.D. – Gerald D. Aurbach Award for Outstanding Translational Research. This annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to research that accelerate the transition of scientific discoveries into clinical applications. As chair of the Department of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology within the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., McDonnell has made major contributions to the biology and pharmacology of nuclear reception (NR) ligands. His work has been foundational for the development of a new generation of drugs for the treatment of hormone dependent cancers and metabolic disease.

Roy Shires, M.B.B.Ch., Ph.D., F.R.C.P. – International Excellence in Endocrinology Award. This award is presented to an endocrinologist who has made exceptional contributions to the field in geographic areas with underdeveloped resources for hormone health research, education, clinical practice, or administration. Shires is a professor of medicine at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the first head of the Division of Endocrinology at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, where he served the impoverished and underprivileged population of Soweto. Despite having limited resources, he has managed to perform meaningful clinical research and most recently initiated the first program to manage transgender patients in this population. 

Greet Van den Berghe, M.D., Ph.D. – Outstanding Clinical Investigator Award. This annual award honors an internationally recognized clinical investigator who has contributed significantly to understanding the pathogenesis and therapy of endocrine and metabolic diseases. Van den Berghe is a professor at University Hospitals Leuven and Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium where she has become one of the most recognized scholars and clinical researchers in the world of diabetes and endocrinology of critical care. Her contributions to understanding the role of glucose control and other endocrinological changes in critically ill patients have led to innovative programs and improved treatment. 

Peter A. Singer, M.D. – Vigersky Outstanding Clinical Practitioner Award. This annual award recognizes extraordinary contributions by a practicing endocrinologist to the endocrine and/or medical community. Singer is a professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and one of the country’s most dedicated and knowledgeable thyroidologists. He developed his first scientific and clinical thyroid symposium in 1978, and it continues annually to this day, after 41 years! Dr. Singer is known as an outstanding teacher and mentor to young physicians.  

Alvin C. Powers, M.D. – Outstanding Educator Award. This annual award recognizes exceptional achievement as an educator in the discipline of endocrinology and metabolism. Powers has directed the NIH-supported Vanderbilt Medical Student Research Training Program for the past 20 years and nine years ago established the NIDDK-sponsored Medical Student Research Program in Diabetes in Nashville, Tenn. His exceptional educational efforts have had a profound influence on more than 1,000 U.S. medical students and are fostering the development of young physician-scientists with an interest in endocrinology.

Christopher B. Newgard, Ph.D. – Outstanding Innovation Award. This award recognizes endocrinologists who have demonstrated innovation and entrepreneurship to further endocrine research or practice in support of the field of endocrinology, patients, and society at large. Newgard is a professor in the departments of Medicine and Pharmacology & Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine and has devoted his career to metabolic research. He’s developed one of the most active metabolomics laboratories in the world to gain a better understanding of pandemic metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes. Beyond metabolism, Newgard has extensively researched pancreatic islet biology.

John C. Marshall, M.D., Ph.D. – Outstanding Leadership in Endocrinology Award. This annual award recognizes outstanding leadership in fundamental or clinical endocrinology. Marshall is a professor at the University of Virginia and a world renowned and highly innovative reproductive endocrinologist. He previously served as editor of Endocrinology and as secretary/treasurer of the Endocrine Society. His research has focused on the regulation of gonadotropin secretion in human health and disease and has contributed greatly to our understanding of complex reproductive disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome. 

Ashley Grossman, B.A., B.Sc., M.D., F.R.C.P., F.Med.Sci – Outstanding Mentor Award. This annual award recognizes a career commitment to mentoring and a significant positive impact on mentees’ education and career. As a professor at the University of Oxford in the U.K., Grossman has leveraged his many years of patient-related experience and detailed knowledge of basic science to train hundreds of the world’s leading endocrinologists. He has also provided considerable support to underprivileged fellows and physicians from Asia and Africa and set up yearly training sessions for a new generation of endocrinologists in Central Asia.

R. Michael Tuttle, M.D. – Outstanding Scholarly Physician Award. This annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to the practice of clinical endocrinology in academic settings. Tuttle is an attending physician at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, N.Y. and a leading clinician-investigator in the field of thyroid cancer. His work has shifted the paradigm in differentiated thyroid cancer treatment.

Andrew Dauber, M.D., M.M.Sc. – Richard E. Weitzman Outstanding Early Career Investigator Award. This annual award recognizes an exceptionally promising young clinical or basic investigator. Dauber is the chief of endocrinology at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. He is an exceptional clinician-scientist who has successfully applied innovative genetic technologies to pediatric endocrinology and has made major contributions to our understanding of the regulation of growth and puberty.

Eleftheria Maratos-Flier, M.D. – Roy O. Greep Award for Outstanding Research. This annual award recognizes meritorious contributions to research in endocrinology. Maratos-Flier is professor of medicine, emerita, at Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass., and director of translational medicine at Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research. Her research on energy balance defined the role of two “new” hormones in the development of metabolic syndrome. Her work is being translated and applied to help solve the obesity problem and its complications, including type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.  

Carol A. Lange, Ph.D. – Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes distinguished service to the Endocrine Society and the field of endocrinology. Lange is a professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and holds the Tickle Family Land Grant Endowed Chair of Breast Cancer Research at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. She is a former Endocrine Society Vice President of Basic Science, a previous leadership role on the Board of Directors. She joined the Endocrine Society in 1996 and has attended every annual meeting since. She advocated for outstanding basic science research programming in her role as Basic Science Chair of the Annual Meeting Steering Committee (2008) and was instrumental in helping to create the first basic science program track for the Annual Meeting Trainee Day, which has become an ENDO mainstay. Her support for basic scientists and trainees has inspired and given a voice to these two overlapping groups.

Nominations are being accepted for the 2021 awards cycle until December 2019. Any submissions received after December will be considered for the following year.

About Endocrine Society

Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses, and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.

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