J Lazarus PHOTO low res


John Lazarus has been associated with Cardiff Medical School for 42 years. During this time he has provided the clinical thyroid service in addition to performing thyroid related research and was also much involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. Initial thyroid research focussed on metabolism of antithyroid drugs and then effects of lithium on thyroid gland function and physiology. Throughout his research career he has contributed many papers on iodine and iodine metabolism. He also investigated thyroid hormone action on mitochondria while a visiting scientist at Columbia University New York. Together with the late Prof Reginald Hall a research programme documenting the clinical, immunological and psychological aspects of postpartum thyroiditis (PPT) was undertaken. Leading on from this work he then conducted (together with colleagues from Dept Preventive Medicine St Bartholemew's Hospital, London) the first randomised controlled trial evaluating screening for thyroid function in early pregnancy. Although essentially a negative study the work has resulted in studies on the role of perchlorate on thyroid function in pregnancy (with colleagues in Boston USA) and on the role of that anion on child development. He has more than 240 pubmed publications as well as more than 20 book chapters and other papers.

He has been associated with the BTF for more than 20 years and served as a trustee for nine years. He has also been a strong supporter of The European Thyroid Association, being secretary-treasurer from 1996 to 2002. In addition he is a past president of The British Thyroid Association and also was the treasurer of The Association for the study of Medical education in UK. He is a founder member of European Group on Graves Orbitopathy. He is currently regional coordinator for West and Central Europe for Iodine Global Network.

In 2018 Prof Lazarus was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (LSW). He joined a group of over 400 distinguished men and women from all branches of learning. Election to fellowship is a public recognition of academic excellence.

PARALYMPICS Swimming 192050

Josef Craig MBE

Josef Craig from Jarrow on Tyneside was the youngest male to win a gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. At just 15 years old he smashed two world records on the way to achieving his medal in the men's S7 400m freestyle.

This fantastic and inspirational achievement was despite the interruptions to his training caused by having been diagnosed with Graves' disease in 2011 and undergoing treatment for that.

Josef says 'I am proud and honoured to become a patron of the BTF and I am more than willing to offer my support to such a brilliant cause.'

Commenting on the BTF's children's animation he said 'The film is really funny yet informative and would make getting a diagnosis seem a lot less scary.'


Lord Borwick of Hawkshead

Chairman, Federated Investments LLP

Jamie had Graves Disease a couple of years ago and Thyroid Eye Disease as well, so when his Thyroid misbehaved again this year, he had it removed in an operation in May 2011. Jamie is 56 and lives in London with his wife Victoria and four children. Victoria is an elected politician, and Jamie is a businessman interested in charities, travel and politics.

Jamie started with Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons Ltd in Scotland and Newcastle for ten years before joining Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC, becoming CEO at the age of 31. MBH at that time manufactured the traditional London Taxi and a range of automotive components. Jamie was a member of various City of London committees and chaired the CBI Smaller Quoted Companies Group, somewhat bizarrely gaining a ‘Saying of the Year’ award from Accountancy Age! After becoming Chairman of MBH in 2001, Jamie left in 2003 to manufacture electric trucks until 2010.

He is currently a non-executive director of Hansa Trust PLC, a successful Investment Trust, having held that post since 1984. He is also Chairman of Countryside Properties (Bicester) Ltd, and has run a series of investments redeveloping property for housing and also offices in the West End of London. He is also Chairman of a new company working to teach music to children using software.

Having made the London Taxi wheelchair accessible, Jamie is also a Vice President of RADAR, the disability rights charity, and for some years ran the wheelchair and scooter section of Motability, financing disabled people to have mobility. He is also a trustee of the British Lung Foundation and chairman of the Parents Group of the Royal Brompton Hospital, and a trustee of two other charities working in education of deaf children and research into the genetic causes of heart malformations.

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Clare Balding OBE

Clare Balding, TV presenter and sports journalist, became a Patron of the BTF in August 2010. Clare was treated for thyroid cancer in 2009 and kindly endorsed the most recent edition of our thyroid cancer booklet.

Clare says: ‘I would be very honoured to accept your invitation and would like to thank the Trustees for thinking of me. I am sure you are aware that my work is rather all-encompassing but I shall do what I can to help raise awareness of thyroid disorders and in doing so, to help those who are suffering.’


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Jenny Pitman OBE

Jenny Pitman has been a Patron of BTF since 1998. As a national hunt racehorse trainer Mrs Pitman has held a Trainer’s Licence since 1975 and was one of the first women to obtain a Trainer’s Licence under Jockey Club Rules. She has won the Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup twice as well as the Irish, Scottish and Welsh Nationals and many other major National Hunt races. Mrs Pitman was awarded the OBE in the 1998 New Years Honours list for services to racing. Her autobiography Jenny Pitman was published in November 1998. Mrs Pitman had personal experience of thyroid cancer in 1998, but is now in good health. We are extremely grateful for her support. Mrs Pitman provided the foreword to the first edition of the BTF booklet 'Thyroid Cancer: For Patients, By Patients' in 2006, in which she wrote: 'When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer I didn’t know which way to turn and quite honestly some of the literature I read was quite frightening and overly dramatic, which only added to my fears. Having read the information in the booklet I am very happy to recommend it and I am sure it will help you to understand the disease and your treatment'.

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Melissa Porter BSc Hons

Melissa Porter, popular TV presenter, has been a Patron of the BTF since 2005. She has appeared on the television programmes Buy Or Not To Buy, Escape To The Country, Put Your Money Where Your House Is, as well as the hugely successful lifestyle programme Get A New Life. Ms Porter has hypothyroidism and says, “I am delighted to have been asked to become a BTF patron and plan to spread the news of the fabulous work that this charity does to anyone who will listen.”

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Gay Search

Gay Search has been a Patron of BTF since 2003. She is a writer and broadcaster who has become one of the country’s best-known gardening presenters, and is known for her very successful Front Gardens series. Ms Search has authored a number of best-selling gardening books, such as Geoff Hamilton: A Man and his Garden, and was gardening editor of Sainsbury’s The Magazine. In 2002, Gay had a thyroidectomy and takes thyroxine daily. Ms Search is delighted to be a patron of BTF: 'I was delighted to accept since I am a great believer in self-help groups - I think they can offer support, information and reassurance in a way that most professionals, however well-meaning, can't do in quite the same way. I certainly found the British Thyroid Foundation invaluable while I was making up my mind about a thyroidectomy. I no longer have my goitre - it was removed along with my thyroid at the end of September 2002 - but I hope the fact that I am now on daily thyroxine means I am still qualified to be a patron!'

patron tunbridge

Dr W Michael Tunbridge MA MD FRCP

Dr Tunbridge has been a BTF Patron since 2007. Dr Tunbridge trained at Cambridge and University College Hospital, London and qualified in medicine in 1964. After obtaining his MRCP, Dr Tunbridge found his interest in Diabetes and Endocrinology moving to the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital. This is where he developed his special interest in thyroid disease that led to a research fellowship becoming the well-known Whickham Survey and other significant research studies and opportunities. Dr Tunbridge completed his prestigious medical career at Director of Postgraduate Medical Education in the University of Oxford and Postgraduate Dean in the Oxford region. He retired from his post in 2003 and from clinical practice in 2005 but retains his interest in medicine and thyroid disease in particular. In 1991 Dr Tunbridge organised a meeting to mark the centenary of the publication of Murray's discovery of thyroxine and donated the proceeds (£1000) to the newly formed British Thyroid Foundation and became one of the first trustees. Dr Tunbridge is 'honoured to accept the invitation to succeed Sir Richard Bayliss as Patron of the British Thyroid Foundation'.

Previous Patrons

  • Sir Richard Bayliss, K.C.V.O.
  • Claire Rayner, OBE
  • Maria Aitken