One of the Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation’s objectives is to provide you with medical information from the best available sources. For this reason, we established a Medical Advisory Board. The Board is composed of highly experienced surgeons and endocrinologists, many who are active in Cushing’s research and are world-renowned. These doctors have generously donated their time and resources to provide up-to-date information on Cushing’s.
Beverly M.K. Biller, M.D., is a faculty member of the Neuroendocrine Unit at The Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She attended Brown University, The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. Following fellowship training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Biller joined the faculty.
Dr. Biller directs the Clinical Fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at The Massachusetts General Hospital and the annual Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education postgraduate course “Clinical Endocrinology” held in Boston every April. In addition, she is an Associate Program Director of the MGH Internal Medicine Residency, providing liaison to the subspecialty fellowships. Dr. Biller is a member of the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education Residency Review Committee in Internal Medicine, which accredits all Medicine training programs in the US.
Dr. Biller has had a longstanding interest in the diagnosis and treatment of Cushing’s disease, and has published both primary scientific research and clinical guidelines on this topic. She was a member of The Endocrine Society Clinical Committee that developed guidelines for the diagnosis of Cushing’s syndrome for primary care providers and endocrinologists and is currently developing Treatment Guidelines. She believes that patient support groups such as the CSRF can play an important role in disease awareness and patient education.
Dr. Biller has served as President of the Association of Program Directors of Endocrinology and Metabolism (APDEM). For five years, Dr. Biller served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, and has been Clinical Chair and overall meeting Chair at past annual meetings of The Endocrine Society. She has also chaired many national and international Continuing Medical Education programs in the pituitary field. Currently, she serves as a Council member of the Growth Hormone Research Society .
Major research interests include the pathogenesis and treatment of pituitary tumors, with a special interest in Cushing’s disease and the diagnosis and treatment of growth hormone deficiency in adults.
Dr. George Chrousos, MD
Dr. James Findling is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Endocrine Center and Clinics at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University Medical School. He completed his internal medicine training at the Medical College of Wisconsin and his post-doctoral fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of California-San Francisco. He started his endocrinology practice at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee in 1982 and he started the Endocrine-Diabetes Center at St. Luke’s in 1987. Dr. Findling joined the full-time faculty of the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2008. He has over 100 publications and book chapters and is considered an international expert on clinical disorders of pituitary and adrenal function and was instrumental in establishing the night-time salivary cortisol diagnostic test for Cushing’s. He has served as visiting professor at many institutions including the Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, Johns Hopkins, University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University, University of Kansas, University of Texas-Southwestern, University of Colorado, University of Nebraska, University of Pittsburgh, and the Cleveland Clinic. In February 2013, he was honored in New York as the Lester J. Gabrilove lecturer in Endocrinology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center.
Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE
Endocrinology, Director of Northwest Pituitary Center, OHSU, Portland, OR
Dr. Fleseriu has a long-standing clinical and research interest in the pathophysiology and treatment of pituitary and adrenal disorders and has been serving as the Director of Northwest Pituitary Center at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, USA since 2007. She is a frequent national and international guest speaker on various topics related to treatments of pituitary tumors, especially Cushing’s and acromegaly, is the principal investigator in numerous clinical trials and she has authored over 100 manuscripts and chapter books. She is the chief editor of Frontiers Endocrinology Pituitary, the consulting editor for Endocrinology Clinics of North America and a member of the editorial board for many journals including Pituitary, Endocrine, Reviews in Endocrinology and Metabolism; she has been a guest editor for Cushing’s special issues in Pituitary, International Journal of Endocrinology and Endocrinology Clinics of North America. Dr. Fleseriu currently chairs the Endocrine Society Guidelines Committee, she is in the Board of Directors of Pituitary Society and serves on several committees for American Association of Clinical Endocrinology.
Dr. Fleseriu received her medical degree from The University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Timisoara, Romania, and completed endocrinology fellowship with a focus in pituitary disorders in Romania. She pursued additional training in the United States: residency in internal medicine at Case Western Reserve University and an endocrinology fellowship at Cleveland Clinic and is now an Associate Professor of Medicine and Neurological Surgery at Oregon Health & Science University.
Eliza Geer, MD
Endocrinology, Director Mount Sinai Pituitary Care and Research Center, New York City, NY
Eliza B. Geer MD is the Medical Director of the Mount Sinai Pituitary Care and Research Center (www.mountsinai.org/pituitary). She joined the Mount Sinai faculty in 2006 with an appointment in the Division of Endocrinology and a secondary appointment in the Department of Neurosurgery. After graduating from Columbia University, she attended Mount Sinai School of Medicine, graduating with Distinction in Research. She completed her Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, where she became involved in neuroendocrine research, conducting studies on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. In 2006 she completed her fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Geer’s clinical and research interests include pituitary diseases, and Cushing’s disease in particular. She is the principal investigator on a number of clinical trials investigating new medical therapies for patients with Cushing’s. She also leads a number of studies investigating body composition, adipose tissue regulation, appetite, and long term outcomes in patients with Cushing’s. She was awarded the Dr. Harold and Golden Lamport Research Award for Clinical Research in 2012, and the Mount Sinai Endocrinologist of the Year award for outstanding service to the Icahn School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Hospital in 2013.
Anthony P. Heaney, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor of Medicine & Neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Heaney is a Fulbright scholar and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (UK), and member of several professional organizations, including the Endocrine Society, the Pituitary Society and the Society of Endocrinology. He has written numerous articles for such peer-reviewed publications as Nature Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Lancet and his primary area of research interest involve the pathogenesis of pituitary tumors and exploiting novel molecular targets to develop innovative treatments for pituitary, and other neuroendocrine tumors.
Dr. Heaney received his medical (MB, ChB, BAO) and doctorate degrees (PhD) from Queen’s University of Belfast in Ireland. Following internship in internal medicine and surgery, Dr. Heaney completed his residency and a research fellowship in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, was appointed Honorary lecturer in Diabetes and Endocrinology at the University of Manchester. He pursued further translational molecular research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 1997 where he joined UCLA faculty and moved to the main UCLA campus in 2006. Dr. Heaney’s research focuses on pituitary and neuroendocrine tumors with an aim to identify novel tumor targets, and characterize candidate potential anti-tumor ligands. Neuroendocrine tumors originate in highly differentiated cell types, express clear phenotypic markers and are excellent models in which to study cellular transformation, providing unique insights into early transforming events in cancer. Current projects examine in vitro and in vivo effects of dietary sugars in cancer development, and progression. Utilizing metabolomic approaches with C13-labelled sugars, his group are examining carbohydrate (CHO) metabolism in cancer cells to better understand effects of refined CHO consumption on in vivo cancer growth.
Laurence Katznelson, M.D. is currently Medical Director of the Pituitary Center at Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California. He is a member of the Editorial Boards for Pituitary and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Katznelson has served as an ad hoc member of NIH study sections. He is currently Chairman of Membership for the Pituitary Society. Dr. Katznelson received his medical degree from UCLA and performed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He then performed a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. He was a member of the Neuroendocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital until he recently assumed the medical directorship of the Pituitary Center at Stanford University. Dr. Katznelson is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Katznelson has a long standing clinical and research interest in the pathophysiology and treatment of pituitary disease.
Anne Klibanski, M.D, is Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Chief, Neuroendocrine Unit and Director of the Neuroendocrine Clinical Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. She is Co- Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital/MIT Clinical Research Center. A leader in the field of neuroendocrinology, Dr. Klibanski’s research interests include the pathogenesis of human pituitary tumors, the pathophysiology of growth hormone disorders, and, the neuroendocrine control of bone metabolism. An elected member of ASCI and AAP, Dr. Klibanski is on the board of directors and President of The Pituitary Society. She has served on NIH study sections and was the Chairman of the NIH Osteoporosis Consensus Conference. She served on the Endocrine Society Council and currently is a member of the Executive Committee on Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Klibanski has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and other Journals. The author of over 200 papers and chapters, she is the recipient of many Awards including the prestigious Endocrine Society 2002 Clinical Investigator Award, Honorary Master’s Degree, Harvard University, the British Endocrine Society Trust Medal in 2003 and the Harvard Medical School Dean’s A Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award.
Andre Lacroix, M.D. is Professor, Department of Medicine at University of Montreal teaching hospital (CHUM). He obtained his medical degree at University of Montreal, where he also completed his training in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology. This was followed by fellowships in pituitary adrenal disorders at Vanderbilt University and in hormone-dependent cancers at NCI, NIH. One of his main research interest since joining the Division of Endocrinology and CHUM Research Center is the molecular pathophysiology of adrenal Cushing’s syndrome; his group has uncovered the adrenal expression of aberrant hormone receptors leading to adrenal overgrowth and hyperfunction. Other interests include investigation and therapy of Cushing’s disease, primary aldosteronism, adrenal carcinoma and pheochromocytomas. Dr Lacroix has served as president of the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and is currently member of the executive board of the International Society of Endocrinology. He is editor of the adrenal section of UpToDate.
Dr. Laws received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University with honors in Economics and Sociology in the Special Program in American Civilization, and then attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He did his surgical internship and neurosurgical residency at Johns Hopkins under A. Earl Walker. After completing his residency he joined the faculty at the Johns Hopkins Medical School. In 1972, he joined the staff of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where ultimately he became Professor of Neurosurgery and developed major interests in pituitary surgery and epilepsy surgery along with a continuing interest in the metabolism and pathophysiology of primary brain tumors. In 1987 he became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, and in 1992 joined the faculty of the University of Virginia as Professor of Neurosurgery and Professor of Medicine, establishing a Neuro-Endocrine Center there. Subsequently, he was Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University, and in 2008 established the Pituitary/Neuroendocrine Center at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston where he currently is Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School. During his surgical career he has operated upon more than 7000 brain tumors, of which 5400 have been pituitary lesions.
Dr. Laws has served as President of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies, President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Editor of Neurosurgery, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for International Education in Neurosurgery, Director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and President of the Pituitary Society. He has authored over 500 scientific papers and book chapters, and is co-editor of the encyclopedic volume, “Brain Tumors” which is in its third edition. He has been the fifth neurosurgeon to become President of the American College of Surgeons, and was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science. He remains actively involved in Pituitary tumor and Neuroendocrine research and surgery.
Dr. Lynnette Nieman is a Senior Investigator and Chief of the Endocrinology Consultation Service at the NIH Clinical Center. She has been with NIH since 1982. Dr. Nieman is uniquely experienced in the practice of clinical investigation. From 1991 to 2001 she served as the Clinical Director of intramural NICHD, overseeing the clinical care of the institute’s patients and ensuring compliance with regulations regarding human subjects research. Dr. Nieman is also an active clinical investigator, with special expertise in disorders of hypercortisolism, having seen more than 1000 patients with Cushing’s syndrome at the NIH. The Endocrine Society recognized this expertise by asking her to chair a task force to develop guidelines on the diagnosis of Cushing’s syndrome. She is the author or co-author of more than 225 publications and has sponsored three investigational new drug applications to the FDA, one of which has been licensed in the US. She is the author of cards on Cushing’s syndrome in the well-acclaimed resource, UpToDate, and she is a co-editor of the Adrenal Section. Dr. Nieman has been recognized for her expertise in a variety of ways: she received the NIH Director’s Award, the NIH Clinical Teacher of the Year Award ,and the Endocrine Society’s Distinguished Physician award. She is the past Vice President for Clinical Science of the Endocrine Society and was the Chair for the 2012 annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.
Dr. Nelson Oyesiku
Neurosurgery, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Dr. Oyesiku completed his Surgery Internship at the University of Connecticut-Hartford Hospital. He obtained his neurosurgical training at Emory University, Atlanta. During his residency he also completed a PhD degree in Neuroscience at Emory University.
Dr. Oyesiku was appointed to the neurosurgical faculty at Emory upon completion of his training. He is currently Professor of Neurological Surgery and Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) at Emory University. He occupies the Al Lerner Chair in Neurosurgery and is Vice-Chairman, Dept of Neurological Surgery and Director of the Neurosurgical Residency Program. His clinical and research focus is the surgical treatment and molecular biology of pituitary tumors. He received an NIH CIDA Award and Medical Faculty Development Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is a recipient of an NIH RO1 award for the molecular imaging and targeting of pituitary tumors. He is PI of the R25 NIH training grant for Neurosurgery. He has authored several manuscripts, book chapters and a book in the field of neurosurgery. Dr Oyesiku’s laboratory has identified unique aspects of pituitary adenoma gene expression and has developed a new modality for imaging and targeted therapy of pituitary tumors. Dr Oyesiku is currently investigating the pathogenesis of pituitary adenomas using genome-wide association studies and whole genome sequencing methods. His laboratory has one on the largest pituitary tumor banks linked to a clinical database to study natural history, treatment outcomes and molecular correlations. Dr Oyesiku is co-director of the Emory Pituitary Center and has one of the most active and busiest neurosurgical practices in the country devoted to pituitary surgery and pituitary medicine. He has performed over 1700 pituitary surgeries. Dr Oyesiku is a pioneer in the use of 3D endoscopic pituitary surgery. He was recently awarded the “Gentle Giant Award” by the Pituitary Network Association for his services to Pituitary Surgery and medicine and patients. Dr Oyesiku is also the Editor-in-Chief of NEUROSURGERY, the official journal of the CNS and has served on many other committees in the area of neurosurgery.
He has been selected by his peers as one of The Best Doctors in America and was selected by the Consumer Research Council of America as one of America’s Top Surgeons. He has been visiting professor at several departments of neurosurgery in the United States and abroad.
Roberto Salvatori, MD
Endocrinology, Medical Director John Hopkins Pituitary Center
Dr. Roberto Salvatori is an endocrinologist, Professor of Medicine and Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University. His clinical and research activities focus on diagnosis and treatment of pituitary and adrenal disease. He founded and co-directs the Johns Hopkins Pituitary Center. He has authored more than 140 original papers and review articles in pituitary endocrinology, and several chapters in Endocrinology and Neurosurgery textbooks.
Dr. Salvatori graduated summa cum laude with honors from Catholic University School of Medicine in Rome, Italy. He trained in Internal Medicine at the Montefiore Medical Center of the Albert Einstein University in the Bronx, NY and completed fellowships in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Cornell University in New York and at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1998.
Dr. Constantine Stratakis, M.D. work focuses on understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms leading to disorders that affect the adrenal cortex and pituitary gland, which has long has been a field of research in the NICHD at NIH. Emphasis is on disorders that are hereditary and associated with multiple tumors and abnormalities in other endocrine glands and other tissues. The aim of this work is to understand, diagnose and treat endocrine neoplasias. Dr. Stratakis has formulated a hypothesis that endocrine tumorigenesis follows the pattern of oncogenesis, i.e. the progress to malignancy is associated with an increasing number of genetic changes. Thus studying the relatively few genetic changes in benign hyperplasias may represent the first and most important genetic changes leading to endocrine tumors. Studies by Dr. Stratakis and his group include Carney complex, MEN I and II, other causes of Cushing syndrome, particularly in children, pituitary tumors, acromegaly, familial hyperaldosteronism, childhood adrenocortical cancer, adrenocortical hypoplasia and hyperplasia, and massive macronodular adrenococrtical hyperplasia. As Laboratory Chief and Director of the Pediatric Endocrinology Program, Dr. Stratakis has treated a large number of Pediatric Cushing’s patients and trained numerous students and fellows in laboratory research, molecular and medical genetics and pediatric endocrinology.
Dr. Swearingen received his MD from Harvard Medical School and trained in neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he currently practices. He is Associate Professor of Surgery at HMS and Associate Visiting Professor at MGH. His practice is focused on the surgical treatment of pituitary tumors, in association with the MGH Neuroendocrine Clinical Center. He has published extensively on clinical outcomes after pituitary surgery.
Dr. J. Blake Tyrrell, MD
Mary Lee Vance, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Neurosurgery, University of Virginia is a clinician, educator and clinical researcher with a dedication to studies of regulation of growth hormone secretion, treatment of patients with pituitary disorders, clinical trials of medications for the treatment of prolactin producing pituitary adenomas, Acromegaly, Cushing’s disease, diabetes insipidus, hypogonadism and outcomes of pituitary surgery and Gamma Knife radiation for pituitary tumors. She had published over 137 scientific articles in peer-reviewed medical journals, over 70 chapters in medical text books.
Dr. Vance is an attending physician in the University of Virginia’s combined Neuroendocrine and Neurosurgery Pituitary service which provides a comprehensive and integrated evaluation and multidisciplinary approach to care and treatment of patients with pituitary disorders. With this combined and collaborative approach to the evaluation of patients with pituitary disorders, this has resulted in a model for an effective model for care of patients for pituitary disorders.
Dr. Weiss received his A.B, Magna Cum Laude, from Dartmouth College and his M.D. from Cornell University. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha, he is presently Professor and The Martin H. Weiss Chair in Neurological Surgery at the University of Southern California where he chaired the Department of Neurological Surgery from 1978-2004. Dr. Weiss’ research interests have focused on studies of the dynamics of cerebrospinal fluid circulation, sub-cellular markers of neoplastic activity, and the clinical management of pituitary and parasellar tumors. He has served as Chairman of the Neurology B Study Section of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Residency Review Committee for Neurosurgery, the Neurosurgical Research and Education Foundation and Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Neurosurgery. He is past President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and The Society of Neurological Surgeons as well as Vice President of the American Academy of Neurological Surgery and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He is the recipient of the Cushing Medal from the AANS, the Jamieson Medal from the Austral-Asian Neurosurgical Society and the Cloward Medal from the Western Neurosurgical Society. Dr. Weiss served as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neurosurgery from 1987 to 1996 (Chairman 1995-1996) and is currently the Associate Editor for Neurosurgical Focus.