Thyroid Research

The thyroid research group in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition-Research includes endocrinologists, clinical researchers, basic science researchers, and experts in the related fields of nuclear and laboratory medicine. Our investigators have clinical expertise in all areas of thyroid and eye disease. Our research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical industry, in addition to Mayo Clinic grants.

Thyroid cancer

Within the area of thyroid cancer, our basic science research group studies oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes and the identification of other genes involved in the initiation or spread of malignancy. We also study novel approaches to therapy of thyroid cancer and other endocrine and nonendocrine cancers using targeted gene therapy.

Supporting our research is a database on thousands of patients with thyroid cancer who have been treated at Mayo Clinic since 1940. Ongoing analysis of information in the database has been used to identify high-risk groups, establish prognostic scoring systems and study the impact of primary management on patient outcomes.

Graves' disease

Our basic studies related to Graves' disease include immunobiology of the thyrotropin receptor and thyrotropin receptor autoantibodies, and the pathogenesis and treatment of Graves' ophthalmopathy.

Studies are aimed at determining the role of orbital antigens, including the thyrotropin receptor, in initiation and propagation of autoimmune thyroid eye disease. Our group is also exploring the relationship between thyrotropin receptor expression and adipogenesis in orbital fibroblasts and the recognition of this antigen by orbital T cell clones and autoantibodies.

Other work by our thyroid research group includes investigation of new and better treatment for Graves' ophthalmopathy, orbital radiotherapy, the effect of hyperthyroidism on skeletal muscle structure and function, and the treatment and natural history of thyroid dermopathy.