Clinical Research Spotlight - Adina Turcu

Adina Turcu, MD
Adina Turcu, MD, MS

Adina Turcu, MD, MS is an Assistant Professor for the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes in the Department of Internal Medicine. 

Dr. Turcu leads a translational research program that leverages basic adrenal physiology and pathology knowledge into clinical care applications. The primary focus of their research is the development of steroid biomarkers that could greatly simplify the diagnosis and care of patients with androgen excess (such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia or polycystic ovary syndrome) and endocrine hypertension. In addition, she is an investigator in several multi-center clinical trials that study new therapies for patients with Cushing’s syndrome and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Currently Dr. Turcu is funded by an NIH K08 Career Development Award and she has taken steps towards independent investigation. Her laboratory team consists of two postdoctoral fellows and a technician. As the lead of her small team, she proposes research ideas, design experiments, and guides data interpretation and trouble shooting. Dr. Turcu enjoys scientific writing, mentoring, and teaching. As a clinician, she sees patients twice a week in an adrenal-dedicated clinic and a general endocrinology clinic, which she says are the fuel and motivation for her research.

“The adrenal glands have a truly fascinating pathophysiology, that is deeply stimulating intellectually. What I love most about our research in steroid biology is that beyond its direct relevance in specific adrenal diseases, our work has wide and highly impactful applications, such as in infertility, obesity, hypertension and aging.” - Adina Turcu, MD, MS

Endocrine testing often involves tedious, multi-step processes, and -not uncommonly- invasive procedures. Besides being burdensome and costly, such testing relies on specialty centers and resources with sparse availability. Our overarching goal is to build steroid biomarker panels which could offer key clinical answers from a single blood draw, and circumvent the need for complicated testing in most patients suspected to have an adrenal disorder.  

Outside of her busy professional life, Dr. Turcu loves to take every opportunity to explore new destinations. She enjoys to discover different cultures and considers herself a nature enthusiast.

Lastly, when asked what wish she would hope for, Dr. Turcu stated, “a fair and happy world.”