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British Thyroid Association Newsletter

Message from the President

I have now handed over to our new President Krishna Chatterjee who was elected at the 2017 AGM. This occurred during the recent very enjoyable and successful 65th Annual Meeting at St Thomas’ Hospital. Krish had also just been elected FRS and is only the third pure “thyroid” specialist after Rosalind Pitt-Rivers and Jamshed Tata to be awarded this high honour.


We recognise Rosalind Pitts-Rivers who was elected in 1954 with our annual award. Perhaps less well known, Jamshed Tata was elected FRS in 1973. As an endocrinologist and developmental biologist, he led research into the cellular and molecular actions of thyroid hormones. He first described how thyroid hormone had a direct effect on gene expression by demonstrating, in the transition from a tadpole into a frog, that thyroid hormone stimulated loss of the tail.


Of course, Krish has an excellent clinical and basic science pedigree and was warmly congratulated on both appointments.


Further appointments at the AGM included Jackie Gilbert as Treasurer and Carla Moran as Assistant Secretary with specific responsibility for maintaining the new website. The members expressed their gratitude to our retiring Treasurer Prakash Abraham who has remarkably left the BTA accounts with an almost identical and healthy surplus to when he took office in 2014.


The meeting was well attended and had an excellent programme. I would like to thank our Secretary Buchi for all his efforts in organising the meeting.


he Executive Committee supported the Training Day on the day prior to the annual meeting. There was an excellent programme that was well received by the trainees including a seminar on collaborative research with Colin Dayan, Bijay Vaidya, Peter Taylor’ Janis Hickey and Vicki Smith. The trainees then split into two groups with the clinical group having a superb session discussing a wide range of thyroid cancer cases in a “MDT” format with Ian Hay, Petros Perros, John Watkinson and Tim Beale. The basic science session for the trainees included talks from Phil Blower and Volodymyr Petrenko who also contributed to the main meeting. The trainees attendance was disappointing for what were such excellent sessions and the BTA committee will be addressing this for next year’s training day.


It was an honour as my last act as President to introduce Ian Hay as our George Murray Lecture who gave a masterful, if slightly delayed due to a technical hitch, overview of papillary thyroid cancer. The free communications were of very high quality. Prizes for oral presentations were awarded to Anne McGowan (Cambridge) (clinical) and Alice Fletcher (Birmingham) (basic) with a student prize to Samiksha Shetty (Imperial). The poster prizes were awarded to Isabelle Terry (Newcastle) (clinical) and Rebecca Thompson (Birmingham) (basic). Other highlights included symposia on molecular aspects of thyroid disorders and thyroid and pregnancy. All the original abstracts from the BTA meeting will be published in the Journal of Thyroid Research. The BTA is grateful to RSR Ltd who continue to generously sponsor the George Murray Lecture which in 2018 has been awarded to Marian Ludgate.


This year’s BTF annual research award was awarded to Salman Razvi and colleagues in Newcastle. The legacy funding specified that the award be used specifically for research to improve understanding of hypothyroidism and Salman plans yet another Whickham Survey follow-up!


The new website has been launched and the Committee look forward to your feedback. BTA members are encouraged to submit blogs on any thyroid topic as it is important to maintain an active website.


Looking ahead to the Society for Endocrinology in Harrogate in November 6-8th, there is a strong thyroid presence on the Wednesday with the Pitt-Rivers Lecture to be given by Domenico Salvatore. The next annual BTA meeting will be in Birmingham on May 14-15th 2018 with an enhanced Training Day programme. The ETA is planned for early September 2018 (precise date TBC) preceded by a thyroid ultrasound course so do make sure that as many of you as possible support Simon Pearce and the local POC.


It has been a great honour to have been the BTA President and I have very much enjoyed the experience over the last 3 years. A final grateful thanks to all those BTA members and Committee members who have been so supportive. I wish Krish every success in his term as President.

Mark Vanderpump, President BTA


From the Secretary

On behalf of the Executive Committee I use this opportunity to thank Mark for his excellent tenure as BTA president. In the last three years Mark has steered the affairs of the association with wisdom, enthusiasm, and characteristic humour. Mark has been instrumental in shaping various aspects of the association’s strategic directions including the new website, the 2015 hypothyroidism position statement, and recent guidance on switching from Liothyronine to Levothyroxine for endocrinologists and general practitioners. We are pleased that Mark will continue to have an active role on the Committee.


Mark leaves the association in very capable hands in the person of Professor Krishna Chatterjee, the incoming president. Krish brings to the Committee a wealth of experience from a rich and distinguished career in research, academics, and clinical thyroidology and we are delighted to welcome him to the Executive Committee.


It has also been a pleasure working closely with Dr Prakash Abraham, our outgoing treasurer who has managed the accounts with prudence and great care in the last three years. At the same time we are delighted to welcome Dr Jackie Gilbert and Dr Carla Moran who join the Committee as treasurer and assistant secretary respectively.

Onyebuchi Okosieme, BTA Secretary



BTA 2018


We are pleased to announce that the 66th British Thyroid Association Annual Meeting will take place on Tuesday 15th May 2018 in the impressive state-of-the-art Bramall Music Building at the University of Birmingham.


The University has excellent links to nationwide transport, with its own University train station just 7 minutes from Birmingham New Street and easy access off the main motorways that cross the Midlands.


The Clinician and Scientist Trainee Programmes will be held on the preceding afternoon - Monday 14th May -  in the grounds of the beautiful Winterbourne House and Garden, which are well worth arriving early to visit.


We look forward to seeing you there. 


Dr Vicki Smith, University of Birmingham



BTF Patient Support Booklet for Thyroid Cancer


The third edition of the BTF's Thyroid Cancer booklet is now available!  Designed to help patients facing a diagnosis of thyroid cancer, the third edition of the BTF's booklet: Thyroid Cancer - For Patients, By Patients is largely written and reviewed by thyroid cancer patients who have themselves been through diagnosis and treatment. It is revised in line with the BTA's Guidelines for the Management of Thyroid Cancer (2014) and includes accounts of patient experiences as well as details of the low-iodine diet and a seven-day meal plan and recipes.

The BTA is delighted to endorse the updated BTF patient support booklet for thyroid cancer. The information follows the recently revised and published BTA guidance for specialists. It is evident that there is a great demand for clear and accessible information for patients with thyroid cancer in what can be a complex pathway through many specialties. This booklet provides the recommended highest quality standards and support that health professionals should be delivering to their patients with thyroid cancer.

If you would like to request copies to give out free of charge to your patients please email with details and a delivery address. 



Iodine Global Network 2016 Annual Report


The 2016 IGN Iodine report has now been published and can be found via this link


Please share it as widely as possible with your colleagues, Health and Nutrition departments, salt associations, partner stakeholders and agencies, and with anyone who may be interested in supporting the elimination of iodine deficiency.


Please send any feedback to Prof John Lazarus: