Where Are They Now?

A look at the careers of past young investigator awardees…

(Ordered by year of award)


Jonna Frasor, Ph.D., was a new faculty member in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at  University of Illinois at Chicago when she received the WE Young Investigator Award in 2007. Jonna is now in her 3rd year as an Assistant Professor at the same institution and is currently studying how inflammation influences estrogen receptor activity. Dr. Frasor commented that “The award from Women in Endocrinology was a great honor to me and it was very helpful in my career development. It allowed me to attend the annual Endo meeting, present my own research, learn about other people’s work, meet with colleagues, and establish a new collaboration.”

Tina Thethi, MD, MPH, was a first year faculty at Tulane University when she received the Janet McArthur Award for Excellence in clinical research in 2007. She is in her 3rd year as an Assistant Professor at the same institution and currently is studying diabetes mellitus, obesity and their complications, especially chronic kidney disease. In 2008, she has received a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) award at Tulane. She thinks that having being the recipient of the Janet W. McArthur award made her application stronger when she applied for the BIRCWH scholarship. These opportunities have allowed her to establish collaborations with those with expertise in various areas of medicine.

Cecilia C. Low Wang, MD, was in her first junior faculty year when she received the Women in Endocrinology abstract award in 2004. She is now a junior faculty at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, gearing up to submit an application for independent grant funding, and preparing her tenure promotion portfolio. Her current research focuses on translational work examining the role of vitamin D in metabolism and vascular function. She also staffs general endocrine and intensive diabetes clinics at the Denver VA Medical Center, and attend on ward medicine service at the VA and the endocrinology consult service at the VA and at the University of Colorado Hospital. Dr. Wang commented that “I received the WE award when I most needed it, since the funding made it possible for me to attend The Endocrine Society annual meeting that year, stay up to date on the latest science, and network with colleagues from other institutions. The WE award was especially important to me because it was from a respected non-profit organization and not associated with a pharmaceutical company.”

Madhu Misra, M.D., MPH, was a junior faculty in the Pediatric Endocrine and Neuroendocrine Units at Massachusetts General Hospital when she received the WE Janet McArthur Award. She is now an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Misra is currently working on therapeutic strategies to increase bone mass accrual in adolescent girls with anorexia nervosa, and is also characterizing the pathophysiology of hypogonadism and low bone density in athletes with amenorrhea. In addition, her interests span the neuroendocrinology of obesity and depressive disorders. Dr. Misra commented that “I was deeply honored to receive the Janet McArthur Award, and this award has certainly been very helpful to my career development. It provided me immediately with resources to attend the Endocrine Society meeting in 2003, where I was invited for platform presentations of two abstracts. Manuscripts resulting from those data are now published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Since then, this has been an important and prestigious award to list in my CV, and I am truly honored to be a recipient of this award, particularly given the wonderful and inspiring researcher that this award is named after.”

Anne R Cappola, MD, ScM– Dr. Cappola received the WE travel award when she was a third-year Endocrine fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is now an assistant professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, and serves as Director of Research Programs for FOCUS on Health and Leadership for Women at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Cappola’s research focuses on the hormonal alterations that occur with aging and the clinical impact of these changes. Her research studies range from mechanistic protocols conducted in the Clinical and Translational Research Center to analyses of data from large cohort studies. She has been funded by the American Federation for Aging Research, the John A. Hartford Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health, from which she currently has R01 funding. She has served on review panels for the National Institute on Aging and is on the National Scientific Advisory Council for the American Federation for Aging Research. She commented that, “The WE award is very helpful to my career development. It was an emotional boost to have a travel award and to be noticed at the WE dinner.”


“I believe that through my activities with WE, I was able to expand my network which has been important for my international standing in the field of Endocrinology – this lead to an invitation to join the Publications Committee of the Endocrine Society.” – Currently a Visiting Scientist at the Department of Pediatrics at University of Washington, Seattle, Cathie Coulter, Ph.D. was the recipient of WE Investigator Awards in 1995 as a postdoctoral fellow at Lawson Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, Canada, and in 1998 as a junior faculty at Baker Medical Research Institute, Australia. Dr. Coulter is continuing her research on the factors which regulate the development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, as well developing new technologies to assess the effectiveness of therapies used in the treatment of perinatal brain injury. Dr. Coulter has continued the tradition of supporting trainees by establishing the Australasian Branch of Women in Endocrinology and raising money to support a similar awards program for the past 8 years.