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Martha A Zeiger, M.D.

Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs
Professor of Surgery


Appointment Phone


Main Location

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Out-of-State & International Patients +
Out of State Patients

Call 410-464-6641 (8a.m. to 6p.m., EST, Mon-Fri)

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Call +1-410-502-7683 (7a.m. to 6p.m., EST, Mon-Fri)

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  • Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs
  • Associate Vice Chair of Research for Department of Surgery
  • Co-Director, Basic and Translational Research
  • Chief, Endocrine Surgery
  • Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
  • Professor of Surgery
  • Professor of Oncology

Centers & Institutes


  • Oncology
  • Surgery - Surgical Oncology


The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Appointment Phone: 443-997-1508

600 N. Wolfe Street
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-614-1197


Adrenal Disorders, Adrenal Surgery, Cervical Lymph Node Dissection, Endocrine Oncology, Endocrine Surgery, Endocrine Tumors, General Surgery, Goiter, Hyperparathyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Laparoscopic Adrenal Surgery , Minimally Invasive Parathyroid Surgery, Parathyroid Surgery, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules, Thyroid Surgery

Research Interests

Molecular markers to distinguish benign from malignant thyroid neoplasms; Signal transduction pathway abnormalities associated with thyroid malignancy


Dr. Martha Zeiger is currently professor of surgery, oncology, cellular and molecular medicine, associate vice chair of surgery faculty development and associate dean for postdoctoral affairs at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her medical degree from The University of Vermont College of Medicine. After serving in the United States Navy she completed her general surgical residency at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. Thereafter she worked as a commander and attending surgeon at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Zeiger then completed a surgical oncology fellowship, focusing on endocrine surgery at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland. She joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1993 where she has built a busy endocrine surgery practice, established an endocrine surgery fellowship program, and directed an NIH-funded molecular biology laboratory for the past 21 yrs.  Her primary research focus includes researching molecular markers associated with thyroid cancer diagnosis and prognosis.

Dr. Zeiger has held numerous leadership positions in national medical societies; the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, American Association of Clinical Endocrinology, and the American Thyroid Association. She founded and is dean of Endocrine Surgery University, an annual course for all endocrine surgery fellows in North America. Most recently Dr. Zeiger became the associate dean for postdoctoral affairs and currently oversees 1200 postdoctoral research fellows in the School of Medicine. more

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    Additional Information

  • Education +


    • University of Vermont College of Medicine / MD; Medicine (1979)


    • Maine Medical Center / General Surgery (1988)


    • National Cancer Institute-NIH / Oncology (1993)


    • American Board of Surgery / Surgery (1990, 2009)
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    As principal investigator on several thyroid tumor-related research grants I have had a longstanding interest in investigating the molecular changes associated with thyroid tumors. As Chief of Endocrine Surgery I oversee approximately 250 thyroid surgeries annually, the majority of which are in IRB protocols. I oversee the IRB protocols, patient enrollment, and the research projects associated with molecular markers in thyroid tumors. I have had extensive experience with microarray analyses, including oligonucleotide-, alternative splice variant-, SNP-, and methylation- based arrays, validation thereof, and molecular marker application to FNA samples. Relevant to thyroid cancer research I played a key role in TCGA evaluation of papillary thyroid cancers. I currently serve as the Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In that role I oversee program building, professional and career development, and policies as pertains to all postdoctoral research fellows.

    Selected Publications

    Timp W, Bravo HC, McDonald OG, Goggins M, Umbricht C, Zeiger M, Feinberg AP, Irizarry RA. Large Hypomethylated Blocks as a Universal Defining Epigenetic Alteration in Human Solid Tumors. Genome Med. 2014 Aug 26;6(8):61.

    Mathur A, Najafian A, Schneider EB, Zeiger MA, Olson MT. Malignancy Risk and Reproducibility Associated with Atypia of Undetermined Significance on Thyroid Cytology. Surgery 2014. Dec; 156(6):1471-6. PMID: 25218896

    The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network. Integrated Genomic Characterization of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma. Cell. 2014 Oct 23;159(3):676-90. PMID: 25417114

    Xing M, Liu R, Liu X, Murugan AK, Zhu, G, Zeiger MA, Pai S, Bishop P. BRAF V600E and TERT Promoter Mutations Cooperatively Identify the Most Aggressive Papillary Thyroid Cancer With Highest Recurrence. J Clin Oncol. 2014 Sep 1;32(25):2718-26. PMID: 25024077

    Mathur A, Olson MT, Zeiger MA. Follicular Lesions of the Thyroid. Surg Clin North Am 2014 Jun; 94(3): 499-513. PMID: 24857573

    Lindeman BM, Pesce CE, Tsai HL, Somervell H, Umbricht CB, Kowalski J, Zeiger MA. Lower Vitamin D Levels in Surgical Hyperparathyroidism versus Thyroid Patients. Am Surg. 2014 May; 80(5):505-10. PMID: 24887732

    Olson MT, Harrington C, Beierl K, Chen G, Thiess M, O'Neill A, Taube JM, Zeiger MA, Lin MT, Eshleman JR. BRAF Pyrosequencing Analysis Aided by a Lookup Table. Am J Clin Pathol. 2014 May; 141(5):639-47. PMID: 24713734

    Aragon Han P, Olson MT, Fazeli R, Prescott JD, Pai SI, Schneider EB, Tufano RP, Zeiger MA. The Impact of Molecular Testing on the Surgical Management of Patients with Thyroid Nodules. Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 June;21(6): 1862-9. PMID: 24522987

    Jara SM, Carson KA, Pai SI, Agrawal N, Richmon JD, Prescott JD, Dackiw A, Zeiger MA, Bishop JA, Tufano RP. The Relationship between Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis and Central Neck Lymph Node Metastasis in North American Patients with Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma. Surgery. 2013 Dec; 154(6): 1272-80. PMID: 24238047

    Oshmyansky AR, Mahammedi A, Dackiw A, Ball DW, Schulick RD, Zeiger MA, Siegelman SS. Serendipity in the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2013 Sept Oct;37(5):820-3. PMID: 24045263

    Campbell MJ, McCoy KL, Shen WT, Carty SE, Lubitz CC, Moalem J, Nehs M, Holm T, Greenblatt DY, Press D, Feng X, Siperstein AE, Mitmaker E, Benay C, Tabah R, Oltmann SC, Chen H, Sippel RS, Brekke A, Vriens MR, Lodewijk L, Stephen AE, Nagar S, Angelos P, Ghanem M, Prescott JD, Zeiger MA, Aragon Han P, Sturgeon C, Elaraj DM, Nixon IJ, Patel SG, Bayles SW, Heneghan R, Ochieng P, Guerrero MA, Ruan DT. A multi-institutional international study of risk factors for hematoma after thyroidectomy. Surgery.2013; 154(6): 1283–91. PMID: 24206619

    Li C, Han PA, Lee KC, Lee LC, Fox AC, Beninato T, Thiess M, Dy BM, Sebo TJ, Thompson GB, Grant CS, Giordano TJ, Gauger PG, Doherty GM, Fahey TJ, Bishop J, Eshleman JR, Umbricht CB, Schneider EB, Zeiger MA. Does BRAF V600E Mutation Predict Aggressive Features in Papillary Thyroid Cancer? Results from Four Endocrine Surgery Centers. J Clin Endocrinol Metab.2013;98(9):3702-12. PMID: 23969188

    Cibas ES, Baloch ZW, Fellegara G, Livolsi VA, Raab SS, Rosai J, Diggans J, Friedman L, Kennedy GC, Kloos RT, Lanman RB, Mandel S J, Sindy N, Steward DL, Zeiger MA, Haugen B R, Alexander EK.A prospective assessment defining the limitations of thyroid nodule pathologic evaluation. Ann Int Med. 2013;159(5):325-32. PMID: 24026318

    Xing M, Alzahrani AS, Carson KA, Viola D, Elisei R, Bendlova B, Yip L, Mian C, Vianello F, Tuttle RM, Robenshtok E, Fagin JA, Puxeddu E, Fugazzola L, Czarniecka A, Jarzab B, O’Neill CJ, Sywak MS, Lam AK, Riesco-Eizaguirre G, antisteban P, Nakayama H, Tufano RP, Pai SI, Zeiger MA, Westra, WH, Clark DP, Clifton-Bligh R, Sidransky D, Ladenson PW, Sykorova V. Association Between BRAF V600E Mutation and Mortality in Patients With Papillary Thyroid Cancer. JAMA. 2013; 309(14): 1493-1501. PMID: 23571588

    Liu Y, Cope L, Sun L, Wang Y, Prasad, Sangenario L, Talbot K, Westra W, Califano J, Zeiger MA, Umbricht, CB. DNA Copy number variations characterize benign and malignant thyroid tumors. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(3):E558-66. PMID: 23345095

    Olson MT, Boonyaarunnate T, Patricia Aragon Han, Umbricht CB, Ali SZ, ZeigerMA. A Tertiary Center’s Experience with Second Review of 3,885 Thyroid Cytopathology Specimens.. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(4):1450-7. PMID: 23436916

  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +

    Graduate Program Affiliation

    Cellular and Molecular Medicine

  • Activities & Honors +


    • Office of Attending Physician United States Congress Commendation Letter, 1989
    • Navy Commendation Medal, 1990
    • University of Vermont College of Medicine Distinguished Academic Achievement Award, 1999
    • Baltimore Magazine “Baltimore’s Top Doctors” Endocrine Surgery, 2002
    • Executive in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women, 2005
    • Baltimore Magazine “Baltimore’s Top Doctors” Endocrine Surgery, 2007
    • Guide to America’s Top Surgeons. Consumer Research Council of America, 2007 - 2008
    • “Molecular Classification of Suspicious Thyroid Tumors”1 R01 CA107247-01A1 (identified as an exemplar of NCI-funded translational research and presented at the NCI’s Translational Science Meeting November 2008), 2008
    • Fellow of the American College of Endocrinology, 2008
    • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, 2009
    • Patients’ Choice Award America’s Most Compassionate Doctors, 2010
    • Association of Women Surgeons’ Visiting Professor to Massachusetts General Hospital, 2012


    • American Association of Clinical Endocrinology
    • American Association of Endocrine Surgeons
    • American Thyroid Association
    • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
    • Endocrine Society
    • Society of Surgical Oncology
    • Association of Academic Surgery
    • Association of Women Surgeons
    • American College of Endocrinology (ACE)
    • International Association of Endocrine Surgeons (IAES)
    • Southern Surgical Association
    • American Surgical Association
    • Surgery Biology Club II
    • Graduate Research, Education and Training Group, Association of American Medical Colleges (GREAT)

    Professional Activities

    • Fellowship Council, American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES), 1993
      1998-1999 Vice President{line break}1998-2000 Chairperson, Education and Research Committee{line break}1998-2001 Education and Research Committee{line break}2004-2006 Education and Research Committee{line break}2005-2011 AAES liaisons to American Association of Clinical Endocrinology{line break}2006-present Fellowship Council{line break}2010-2014 Dean, Endocrine Surgery University
    • Board of Directors, American Thyroid Association, 1995
      2000-2003 Publication Committee{line break}2004-2008 Membership Committee{line break}2007-2010 Thyroid Research Committee Task Force{line break}2010-2011 Co-Chair of Annual Meeting Program Committee{line break}2011-2015 Board of Directors{line break}2012-2013 Trainees and Career Advancement Committee {line break}2012-2013 Medullary Thyroid Cancer Registry Task Force{line break}2012-2013 Pediatric Thyroid Guidelines Task Force {line break}2005-2007 Paper Sessions Review Committee
    • Endocrine Surgery Scientific Committee Advisor, American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE), 1999
      2005-2011 Board member{line break}2005-2011 American Association of Endocrine Surgeons liaison{line break}2006-2011 Chair, Endocrine Surgery Committee{line break}2007-2008 Fellowship Application Committee {line break}2008-2011 Annual Meeting Clinical Congress Program Committee {line break}2008-2009 Publications Committee{line break}2008-2009 Patient Safety Committee{line break}2009-2010 Nominating Committee{line break}2011-2013 Endocrine Surgery Committee Advisor{line break}2013-2016 Endocrine Surgery Scientific Committee Advisor{line break}2011-2015 Adrenal & Pancreas Scientific Committee
    • Editorial Board, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2014
    • Section Editor, Journal of Surgical Oncology, 2005 - 2011
    • Guest Editor, Surgical Clinics of North America; Endocrine Surgery, 2009 - 2009
  • Videos & Media +


    Meet Martha Zeiger, M.D.

    Lectures and Presentations

    “Preoperative Ultrasound and Primary Surgery for DTC”
    Lecture , 6th Annual American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists , Tampa Florida (01/01/2015)

    “Molecular Markers and Thyroid Cancer: What is the Real Benefit?”
    Lecture , 16th Annual Oliver H. Beahrs Distinguished Surgical Lecture , Bethesda, MD (12/01/2014)
    Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

    “Surgery Fellowships in the United States”
    Lecture , Singapore Health and Biomedical Congress 2014 Surgical Education Summit , , Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore (09/01/2014)

    “We are the future”
    Lecture , 5th Annual International Women in Surgery Career Symposium , 5th Annual International Women in Surgery Career Symposium (06/01/2014)
    American College of Surgeons

    “Clinical Utility of Molecular Markers & Thyroid Cancer – The Real Story”
    Surgical Grand Rounds , Wichita, KS (05/01/2014)
    University of Kansas School of Medicine

    “A Story of Bench to Bedside & Thyroid Cancer"
    Surgical Grand Rounds , Saginaw, MI (05/01/2014)
    Central Michigan University

    “Adjuncts to Redo Parathyroid Surgery”
    Lecture , 6th Annual Tulane Symposium on Thyroid and Parathyroid Diseases (02/01/2014)

    “The Application of Molecular Signatures to Thyroid Cancer”
    Visiting Professor , Department of Surgery (01/01/2014)
    Tulane University

    “Surgical Management of Hyperthyroidism”
    Endocrine Surgery Postgraduate Course , 2013 Clinical Congress , Washington, DC (10/01/2013)
    American College of Surgeons

    “Locally Advanced and Aggressive Disease in the Neck”
    Lecture , 2nd World Congress on Thyroid Cancer , Toronto, Canada (07/01/2013)

    “Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis and Prognosis & the Application of Molecular Markers”
    Lecture , Taipei, Taiwan (03/01/2013)
    Taiwan Association of Endocrine Surgeons

    “Molecular Markers of Thyroid Cancer: “Drivers” of Surgical Management?
    Lecture , Association of Women Surgeons Visiting Professor , Boston, MA (02/01/2013)
    Massachusetts General Hospital

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