The Passing of our Esteemed Colleague Dr. Jerome M. Hershman

Dear Colleagues:    

It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of Dr. Jerome Hershman on July 18th, 2022. Dr. Hershman was a distinguished professor of medicine emeritus at UCLA and the past chief of endocrinology at the VA Greater Los Angeles.

He was a brilliant clinician, educator, researcher and mentor who impacted the lives of so many over the years. Dr. Hershman was born in Chicago on July 30th, 1932. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Northwestern University, followed by a M.S. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, where he studied the characterization of DNA structure under Nobel Laureates Drs. Alexander Rich and Linus Pauling. Dr. Hershman attended the University of Illinois School of Medicine, where he performed research with Dr. Howard Armstrong looking at plasma protein turnover. He did a rotating internship at Cook County Hospital, went to Beth Israel in Boston for his medicine residency, and completed his endocrine fellowship with Dr. E.B. (Ted) Astwood at the New England Center Hospital where he first focused his research on thyroid disease.

Dr. Hershman performed some of the earliest work on the use of antithyroid drugs for hyperthyroidism and levothyroxine therapy. He was recruited to UCLA in 1972, to serve as the chief of endocrinology at the West LA VA, where he spent most of his academic career. Dr. Hershman built the VA endocrine division, ran the inpatient endocrine service and endocrine clinics, developed an endocrinology fellowship program, and continued his productive research career including mentoring 57 post-doctoral fellows, many who have gone on to have highly productive academic careers across the country, including division and departmental leaders.

Dr. Hershman published over 500 original research papers, chapters, and reviews, making broad and impactful research contributions. These include noting the thyroid stimulating activity of hCG; describing a bioassay for TSH and subsequently developing a highly sensitive immunoassay for its measurement; describing the abnormalities in thyroid hormone in nonthyroidal illness; describing thyroid hormone changes with amiodarone therapy; describing the effects of vasopressin, TRH, and cytokines on thyroid function; and contributing to our understanding of factors that regulate iodine uptake and the growth of thyroid cancers. He received multiple honors including the American Thyroid Association’s John B. Stanbury Pathophysiology Medal, Ingbar Award and Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Hershman served as President of the American Thyroid Association and was the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Thyroid over 30 years ago, now the premier journal in the field, with an impact factor of 6.5, as well as past editor-in-chief of Clinical Thyroidology.

Dr. Hershman was a beloved member of the UCLA community and we extend our greatest sympathy to his family and those whose lives he touched. His legacy will continue to live through his patients, students, and colleagues for years to come. Details about events to celebrate the life and contributions of Dr. Hershman will be forthcoming.


Dr. E. Dale Abel and Dr. Gregory A. Brent

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