Lewis Braverman, MD, MACE, jokes that someone must having been smoking something when he was chosen as a “legend” and asked to share his knowledge during this year’s “Learning from Legends” session. But all kidding aside, Dr. Braverman is looking forward to sharing the highlights of his 60-plus years of research, which is still ongoing at Boston University where he is Professor of Medicine. The session begins at 4:45 pm on Saturday in Room 19.
Dr. Braverman’s interest in endocrinology began in a course in experimental endocrinology taken during his undergraduate years at Harvard with Frederick Hisaw, PhD, who discovered the hormone relaxin.
“I took a course with him, and I worked one summer in his laboratory. That began my interest. Then it was rekindled when I was a resident in medicine at the old Harvard unit at the Boston City Hospital when I met my mentor Dr. Sidney Ingbar,” he said. Dr. Ingbar and Dr. Braverman worked together on the peripheral metabolism of thyroid hormones and described the conversion of T4 to T3 in peripheral tissues.
“The Iodine Research Lab at BU continues to measure iodine in any human product, looking at the effects of iodine on thyroid hormone synthesis; we also are interested in environmental agents which might effect thyroid function,” he said.
Dr. Braverman’s lab has established sensitive assays for measurement of urinary thiocyanate and perchlorate which have been employed to study the potential effects of these agents on thyroid function in various U.S. and foreign populations. Measurement of urinary iodine is especially important in pregnant and lactating women and their neonates, including premature babies in the ICU who are dependent solely on enteric and/or intravenous feedings.
During the Learning with Legends session, Dr. Braverman will review the Wolff-Chaikoff effect, iodine-induced hypothyroidism, iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis, the peripheral metabolism of thyroid hormones, amiodarone and the thyroid, and thyrogen and the therapy of thyroid cancer.
“We hope that even more interest would be expressed in studying the effects of iodine on thyroid metabolism as well as the natural antithyroid products such as perchlorate and thiocyanate,” he said.
In addition to a better understanding of the effects of iodine, Dr. Braverman also has another message he hopes attendees take home with them.
“Just because you get older is no reason to stop working,” he said.