Jeffrey Zigman, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Endowed Title: The Diana and Richard C. Strauss Professorship in Biomedical Research; Mr. and Mrs. Bruce G. Brookshire Professorship in Medicine

Department: Internal Medicine, Psychiatry

Graduate Programs: Integrative Biology


Dr. Zigman grew up in New Jersey and performed undergraduate studies at Cornell University. He obtained a dual MD-PhD degree from the University of Chicago, and remained in Chicago to complete an Internal Medicine residency. Dr. Zigman next moved to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he completed a fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. It was in Boston, while working under the mentorship of Drs. Joel Elmquist and Jeffrey Garber, where Dr. Zigman’s research and clinical interests in the hormone ghrelin and thyroid nodular disease, respectively, first arose. Dr. Zigman is currently an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, where he is affiliated with the Division of Hypothalamic Research and the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism. He holds a secondary appointment in the Dept. of Psychiatry and also is affiliated with the Integrative Biology Graduate Program and the Neuroscience Graduate Program. His clinic primarily focuses on the treatment of individuals with thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. Dr. Zigman’s research is geared primarily toward understanding the neuro-hormonal framework underlying complex eating behaviors, including those linked to stress and mood.  Much of our work has focused on the ghrelin system, including mechanisms by which the ghrelin system engages orexigenic, glucoregulatory, and antidepressant behaviors and mechanisms controlling ghrelin secretion. 


Medical School University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (1997)
Internship/Residency University of Chicago Hospitals (2000), Internal Medicine
Fellowship Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (2003), Endocrinology & Metabolism

Specialty Areas

Clinical Interests

  • Benign Neoplasm of Thyroid Glands
  • Goiter
  • Malignant Neoplasm of Thyroid Gland
  • Nodular Goiter
  • Nontoxic Multinodular Goiter
  • Thyroid Cancer, Masses & Tumors
  • Thyroid Cyst
  • Thyroid Enlargement (Goiter)
  • Thyroid Nodules

Research Interests

  • Ghrelin biosynthesis and ghrelin cell physiology
  • Ghrelin's role in mood (depression) and stress
  • Neuro-hormonal framework linking complex eating behaviors to affect
  • Stomach and intestine endocrine (enteroendocrine) cell function
  • The role of ghrelin in eating behaviors of various types: food intake to survive, eating for pleasure (reward-based eating), eating upon stress


Featured Publications Legend

Featured Publications

An eGFP-expressing subpopulation of growth hormone secretagogue receptor cells are distinct from kisspeptin, tyrosine hydroxylase, and RFamide-related peptide neurons in mice.

Smith JT, Reichenbach A, Lemus M, Mani BK, Zigman JM, Andrews ZB Peptides 2013 Jul 47C 45-53

Shift in Kiss1 Cell Activity Requires Estrogen Receptor a.

Frazão R, Cravo RM, Donato J, Ratra DV, Clegg DJ, Elmquist JK, Zigman JM, Williams KW, Elias CF J. Neurosci. 2013 Feb 33 7 2807-20

Differential effects of chronic social stress and fluoxetine on meal patterns in mice.

Kumar J, Chuang JC, Na ES, Kuperman A, Gillman AG, Mukherjee S, Zigman JM, McClung CA, Lutter M Appetite 2013 Jan 64C 81-88

Characterization of gastric and neuronal histaminergic populations using a transgenic mouse model.

Walker AK, Park WM, Chuang JC, Perello M, Sakata I, Osborne-Lawrence S, Zigman JM PLoS ONE 2013 8 3 e60276

A solitary hyperfunctioning thyroid nodule harboring thyroid carcinoma: review of the literature.

Mirfakhraee S, Mathews D, Peng L, Woodruff S, Zigman JM Thyroid Res 2013 6 1 7

Expression of Serum Retinol Binding Protein and Transthyretin within Mouse Gastric Ghrelin Cells.

Walker AK, Gong Z, Park WM, Zigman JM, Sakata I PLoS ONE 2013 8 6 e64882

Ghrelin and eating behavior: evidence and insights from genetically-modified mouse models.

Uchida A, Zigman JM, Perelló M Front Neurosci 2013 7 121

Disruption of cue-potentiated feeding in mice with blocked ghrelin signaling.

Walker AK, Ibia IE, Zigman JM Physiol. Behav. 2012 Dec 108 34-43

A major lineage of enteroendocrine cells coexpress CCK, secretin, GIP, GLP-1, PYY, and neurotensin but not somatostatin.

Egerod KL, Engelstoft MS, Grunddal KV, Nøhr MK, Secher A, Sakata I, Pedersen J, Windeløv JA, Füchtbauer EM, Olsen J, Sundler F, Christensen JP, Wierup N, Olsen JV, Holst JJ, Zigman JM, Poulsen SS, Schwartz TW Endocrinology 2012 Dec 153 12 5782-95

GOAT induced ghrelin acylation regulates hedonic feeding.

Davis JF, Perello M, Choi DL, Magrisso IJ, Kirchner H, Pfluger PT, Tschoep M, Zigman JM, Benoit SC Horm Behav 2012 Nov 62 5 598-604

Results 1-10 of 51


Featured Books Legend

Featured Books


  • Patricia Usher Memorial Lecture speaker
    Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston (2014)
  • Class of 2014 (MS2) Outstanding Teaching Award 2011-2012
    The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (2012)
  • Diana and Richard C. Strauss Professorship in Biomedical Research
  • Election as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation
    American Society for Clinical Investigation (2012)
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bruce G. Brookshire Professorship in Medicine
  • Class of 2013 (MS2) Outstanding Teaching Award 2010-2011
    The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (2011)
  • Top Doctor
    U.S. News & World Report (2011)
  • Class of 2013 (MS1) Outstanding Teaching Award in Physiology 2009-2010
    The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (2010)
  • UTSW Medical Center Disease Oriented Clinical Scholar
    The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (2006)
  • Graduation Cum Laude and with distinction in all subjects; Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society from Cornell University
    Cornell University (1989)
  • National Institutes of Health Medical Scientist Training Program
    The University of Chicago (1989)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Clnical Investigation (2012)
  • American Thyroid Association (2009)
  • The Endocrine Society (2009)
  • The Obesity Society (2008)
  • American Diabetes Association (2004)
  • American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (2000)