About the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes

Division Chief Thomas Buchanan, MD, received USC’s highest award for achievement in research – the USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research. The award was bestowed at USC’s annual Academic Honors Convocation in May 2017. Dr. Buchanan continues to serve as vice dean for research for the Keck School of Medicine of USC, director of the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute and co-director of the USC Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute.

Braden Barnett, MD, joined the division of endocrinology as a clinical assistant professor of medicine (clinician educator). Dr. Barnett will focus his clinical activities in the division’s private practice as well as Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center clinics. Prior to joining our division, Dr. Barnett completed both his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at the Keck School.

John Carmichael, MD, directed the Third Annual Southern California Pituitary Symposium at USC. This CME event has been well attended by physicians and health care personnel from the local community as well as several out-of-state attendees. Guest faculty members from Emory University in Atlanta and Washington University in St. Louis provided cutting-edge education in pituitary treatment. In addition, Dr. Carmichael was elected to the board of directors of the Pituitary Society.

Jonathan LoPresti, MD, was appointed medical director of the USC Endocrine Laboratory, replacing John Nicoloff, MD, who had served as medical director since 1975.

Shan Luo, PhD, joined the division as an assistant professor of research medicine. Dr. Luo’s research focuses on understanding the brain and hormonal regulations of eating behavior in children and adults.

Jorge Mestman, MD, co-directed the XIX Davidson-Mestman Annual Intensive Course on Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Disease. The three-day Spanish language course was held in Miami to educate Spanish-speaking endocrinologists from the United States, Spain and Latin American countries.

Kathleen Page, MD, was awarded a new R21 grant from NIH to study the effects of sugar consumption on brain activity and on delay of gratification, which is an important factor in many health problems, including addiction and obesity. In addition, she had three new publications on the impact of diet and physical activity on brain regulation of feeding behavior.

Peter Singer, MD, directed the USC Thyroid Diagnostic Center’s 39th Annual Symposium on Thyroid Disease. The symposium continues to be the longest running and one of the most successful clinical meetings in the United States.

Hussein Yassine, MD, received two R01 grants from NIH to study various aspects of lipid metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). He published a series of impactful papers on lipid metabolism in AD. The first was a review in JAMA Neurology focusing on the stage-specific association between dietary intake and serum levels of omega-3 fatty acid and brain pathology of AD in carriers of the APOE e4 risk allele. The second was a primary research paper in Alzheimer’s research and therapy demonstrating that carrying the APOE e4 risk allele is associated with increased brain uptake for the fatty acid docosahexaneoic acid (DHA) decades before the onset of AD. The third was a pair of editorials in Lancet Neurology on the importance of early dietary supplementation with high dose omega-3 fatty acids for slowing cognitive decline in persons at genetic risk of AD. Dr. Yassine also cochaired a mini-symposium on AD at the Society of Neuroscience in November 2017 and chaired and organized the First Annual Finch AD Symposium at USC in December 2017.

Highlights from 2016

Division Chief Dr. Thomas Buchanan led the successful renewal of USC’s Clinical and Translational Science Award from NIH. The award provides $36.3M over five years to support research and innovation in clinical and community trials and training in clinical and translational research. In fiscal year 2016, with more than $9.6M in NIH funds, Dr. Buchanan was ranked 115th among more than 35,000 NIH-funded researchers worldwide.

Dr. Peter Singer directed the USC Thyroid Diagnostic Center’s 38th Annual Symposium on Thyroid Disease. The symposium continues to be the longest running and one of the most successful clinical meetings in the United States.

Dr. John Carmichael directed the Second Annual Southern California Pituitary Symposium at USC. This CME event has been well attended by physicians and health care personnel from the local community as well as several out-of-state attendees. This year guest speakers from Oregon Health Sciences University and Stanford participated in providing cutting edge education in pituitary ideas treatment.

In August of 2016, Dr. Hussein Yassine published a study in JAMA Neurology demonstrating that low DHA levels in blood correlate with increased brain amyloid deposition in healthy older adults years before the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Jorge Mestman Co-directed the 18th Davidson-Mestman Annual Intensive Course on Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Disease. The three day Spanish language course was held in Miami, Florida to educate Spanish speaking endocrinologists from the United States, Spain and Latin American countries. Dr. Mestman also co-authored one chapter in one of the world’s leading texts on thyroid biology and disease, Werner & Ingbar’s The Thyroid: A Fundamental and Clinical Text.

Dr. Jonathan LoPresti was a featured speaker at the 2016 Endocrine Society Meeting in the symposium on Management of Thyroid Cancer.

Dr. Carole Spencer was a speaker at the trainee conference at the 2016 American Thyroid Association Meeting.