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Jacqueline Jonklaas MD MPH PhD BSc

June 20, 2011

Dr. Jacqueline Jonklaas is an Associate Professor at Georgetown University in the Division of Endocrinology. She specializes in the treatment of thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancer. Involved in clinical care, teaching, and research in Endocrinology with a particular focus on thyroid diseases, Jonklaas' research adds great value to GHUCCTS.

Why is it important to have diversity in medical research? What does diversity contribute to your research?

My research area is within the field of endocrinology and my research is clinically-based. However, every one of my research efforts has required, and benefited from, collaborations with other investigators in diverse fields such as laboratory medicine, study design, database management, molecular biology, and nuclear imaging.

How does having a diverse background in different aspects of research enhance discovery?

My interest is in thyroid diseases, and particularly thyroid cancer. Research into thyroid cancer is a particularly good example of a field where expertise in different areas needs to be combined in order to make progress. Thyroid cancer development cannot be understood without contributions from biostatistics, epidemiology, and molecular genetics. Thyroid cancer treatment cannot be advanced without progress in surgical techniques, nuclear medicine, and molecular targeting of drugs.

How does your research program and your institution contribute to the diversity of GHUCCTS?

As an endocrinologist, I conduct research into thyroid diseases, particularly thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism. Thyroid cancer is one of the malignancies that is increasing in incidence in the United States, particularly within specific segments of the population, such as males. Hypothyroidism is a very common disorder which affects all segments of the population, but clearly needs the application of different management paradigms in sub-sets of the populations, such as the elderly. I believe that research into thyroid diseases is a good example of a research program that both illustrates and benefits from the diversity of GHUCCTS.

How does having diversity in research benefit the community, both directly and indirectly?

In order to benefit the diversity represented with our community, research needs to be generalizable to the different segments of the population. An example of this is that targeting treatment for both thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism needs to take into account an individual’s age, gender, genetic background, and other medical conditions. Not all individuals benefit equally from a specific treatment.