Bianco Lab

Antonio C Bianco MD PhD, biosketch.

A. Narrative

Bianco BiosketchAntonio Bianco M.D. PhD. is the Charles Weaver Professor of Cancer Research at Rush University Medical Center. His laboratory has helped establish the importance of local control of thyroid hormone activation and inactivation in development, metabolic control and energy homeostasis. Dr. Bianco’s initial interest in this area formed while he was a fellow at Harvard Medical School. At that time, deiodinases were known to react homeostaticaly to changes in plasma thyroid hormone levels in order to preserve the intracellular levels of T3. As a fellow under J. Enrique Silva MD, Dr. Bianco built upon this concept making the seminal observation that thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue, a specialized organ that functions to warm up the body, is critically dependent on the local activation of T4 via the type 2 deiodinase (D2). Subsequently, they discovered the molecular link between deiodination and thermogenesis, specifically that the UCP-1 gene, key for brown adipose tissue thermogenesis, is transcriptionally up-regulated by T3. Upon returning to the University of Sao Paulo, Dr. Bianco formed a research group and demonstrated that D2 activation leads to the saturation of the T3 receptors in brown adipose tissue, creating a state of relative thyrotoxicosis. This work laid the groundwork for the modern concept of how deiodinases regulate thyroid hormone signaling on a tissue-specific basis without antecedent changes in plasma thyroid hormone concentrations.

In 1998 Dr. Bianco went back to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital as an Associate Professor and eventually became Chief of the Thyroid Section. There, he formed a group and expanded his studies to cell biology of the deiodinases. One of their major contributions in this area was the discovery that the ubiquitin ligase WSB-1 inactivates D2 by covalently attaching a 8-kDa protein, ubiquitin, to the D2 molecule, a process that is stimulated by members of the Hedgehog morphogen family. Ubiquitinated D2 can be degraded in the large protease complex known as proteasome, but they found that most of the ubiquitinated D2 is reactivated by two deubiquitinases, USP20 and USP33, in what constitutes an on/off switch to control T3 production.

In 2008 Dr. Bianco moved to Miami to become Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. As Endocrine Chief, Dr. Bianco expanded the faculty, establishing a critical mass of clinical expertise in most endocrine subareas. His lab continued to focus on understanding the biology and biochemstry of the deiodinases, and their contribution to metabolic control in health and disease. Six years later Dr. Bianco was recruited to Rush University Medical Center. He is currently Vice-Dean of Clinical Affairs and the President of the Rush University Medical Group.

B. Positions

1985-93 Assistant Professor, University of São Paulo, Brazil
1993-01 Associate Professor, University of São Paulo, Brazil
1998-08 Associate Professor, Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
2002-07 Director of Research, Thyroid Section, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
2007-08 Chief, Thyroid Section, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
2008-14 Chief, Division of Endocrinology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
2011-12 Vice Chair Clinical Affairs DoM, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
2014-15 Chief, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Rush University Medical Center
2014-15 Executive Vice-Chairman, Department Medicine, Rush University Medical Center
2015- President, Rush University Medical Group
2015- Vice-Dean Clinical Affairs, Rush University Medical College

C. Awards and Honors

1983 Manoel de Abreu Prize, Santa Casa School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil
1991 Ethicon Prize of Surgery, Sao Paulo Medical Association
1995 Refinações de Milho Brazil Prize of Pediatrics, Sao Paulo Medical Association
2000 LATS Prize, Latin American Thyroid Society
2004 Van Meter Award, American Thyroid Association
2005 Membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation
2005 Distinguished Service Award, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2006 Jack H. Oppenheimer Lecture, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN
2009 Eric Reiss Memorial Lecture, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami FL
2010 Membership in the Association of American Physicians
2011 Honorary Membership, Brazilian Endocrine Society
2011 Segal Lecture, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York NY
2011 Membership in the American Clinical and Climatological Association
2012 Sidney Ingbar Visiting Professor, BIDMC, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA
2013 Rosalind Pitt-Rivers Medal, British Thyroid Association
2013 Samuel F. Haines Visiting Professor, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN
2014 Charles Arthur Weaver Professor of Cancer Research, Rush University Medical Center
2015-16 President, American Thyroid Association