Dr. Adam Meier: Endocrine Society Medical Student Achievement Award
By Remekca Owens
Dr. Adam Meier has always desired a career focused on helping people that also incorporated his love for science. Then, a service mission trip to Idaho before his freshman year at Brigham Young University in Utah helped the Houston native confirm his career path as a physician.
“The thought was always in the back of my mind, especially since my older brother is a neurologist, but my exposure to helping people who were sick on that trip is what made me sure,” Dr. Meier said.
He went on to complete two summers in UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Summer Research Program. In his first summer with the Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Meier examined the differences in the volume of the orbital frontal cortex in adolescents at risk for depression and substance abuse and of control subjects. This hands-on opportunity included mapping and measuring various brain structure volumes using computer programs, as well as magnetic resonance imaging.
Dr. Meier completed his other stint in the program as a medical student in the laboratory of Dr. Michael McPhaul, Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine who served as a full-time faculty member in the Division of Endocrinology from 1986 to 2012. While there, Dr. Meier’s research focused on developing new methods to measure thyroglobulin in patients with anti-thyroglobulin antibodies. Levels of this protein, produced in the thyroid gland, are primarily used as biomarkers for thyroid cancer.
“Adam’s experiences in my lab were really just his first steps in the research area, and he was an outstanding student,” Dr. McPhaul said. “He conducted himself with a combination of intellect, determination, and perseverance – traits that I think make his future success a certainty.”
Dr. Meier, 28, is the 2014 recipient of the Endocrine Society Medical Student Achievement Award, an honor given each year to a medical student who has done significant research in endocrinology.
In addition to his research success, Dr. Meier counts the birth of his 1-year-old daughter, Alice, as one of his greatest achievements during his time at UT Southwestern. He and his wife, Katie, met while in college at BYU, and welcomed Alice during his third year of medical school. In his spare time, Dr. Meier enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, and volunteering with his local Latter-Day Saints congregation.
This fall, he will begin his residency in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. He has future plans to complete a fellowship in either endocrinology or gastroenterology.
“I’m very excited about this next chapter,” Dr. Meier said. “Yale is a great place to train, and I look forward to applying all that I’ve already learned about being a clinician and researcher.”