Member Spotlight

Thomas Zoeller, PhD

April 13, 2022
Thomas Zoeller

Dr. R. Thomas Zoeller, Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is a visiting Professor at the University of Örebro in Sweden. His research has focused on the role of thyroid hormone in brain development with an emphasis on the fetal brain. Dr. Zoeller’s lab also works on the mechanisms by which environmental endocrine disruptors can interfere with thyroid hormone action in the developing brain. Dr. Zoeller’s laboratory has published over 200 scientific papers on these topics. He was a member of the U.S. EPA's committee to develop a strategy to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals in the 1990’s as well as several other EPA and NIH review panels. In recognition of his work, Dr. Zoeller received the “Scientist of the Year – 2002” from the Learning Disabilities Association and was a Samuel F. Conte Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, awarded the UMass Chancellor’s Medal for his work and was an Endocrine Society Laureate Awardee.

What was your first Endocrine Society volunteer role? How do you volunteer now?

Volunteering to me really means to be an active participant in collaboration with other endocrinologists to enhance and enrich your professional life. From this point of view, my first volunteer roles were to present my research work at ENDO 1986 in Anaheim and beyond. Today, I view my activities within the Society as a way to translate my research and experience to other endocrinologists, and to relevant actors on a global stage.

Why did you choose to volunteer with Endocrine Society?

I took my first course in Endocrinology as an undergraduate in 1977 at Indiana University Bloomington and I knew then that this is what I wanted to do. So, to be a member of the Endocrine Society is to have a place to share that interest, to learn from others, and to engage with the implications of endocrine research in the global society. My activities within the Endocrine Society are simply an expression of this interest.

What other volunteer roles have you held? Are you currently serving on any committees?

In addition to actively participating in research presentations at the Endocrine Society Annual Meetings and symposia over the years, I have been – and continue – to serve on various committees.

Advocacy and Public Outreach Core Committee July 2013 - April 2016 Member
Global EDC Policy Task Force March 2014 - March 2018 Co-Chair
European Union Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Task Force March 2014 - March 2020 Co-Chair
EDC Advisory January 2017 - January 2020 Member
EDC Advisory April 2020 - March 2023 Member
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals SIG January 2022 - January 2023 Co-Chair

How did your early Endocrine Society volunteer experience prepare you for committee service?

The more I became involved in Endocrine Society activities, the more rewarding they were and the more interested I was in engaging with others to contribute to the life of the society.

How has volunteer service at Endocrine Society benefited you personally or professionally? Would you recommend volunteering to a colleague?

We can view our professional career from the point of view of our CV or as an expression of our intellectual interest and a committee to contribute to our world at large. While these are not mutually-exclusive perspectives, my involvement with the Endocrine Society has been enormously rewarding personally because it is an important conduit through which my research and intellectual interests can be communicated much more effectively to the broader society.

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