Constance Shen Pittman

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Constance Shen Pittman

Constance Ming-Chung Shen Pittman (born January 2, 1929 in Nanking, China; died January 15, 2010) was an endocrinologist at the UAB School of Medicine.

Pittman trained as a nurse in China and came to the United States in 1946 to study at Wellesley College in Massachusetts as a Mayling Soong Foundation scholar. She completed her bachelor's degree in 1951 and went on to earn an M.D. at Harvard Medical School in 1955. She interned with the Johns Hopkins Service at Baltimore City Hospital and then came to the University of Alabama School of Medicine for her residency under doctors Tinsley Harrison and Walter Frommeyer in 1956. She went on to complete a research fellowship under S. Richardson Hill before joining the faculty in 1961.

Pittman's research involved thyroid physiology and pathophysiology. She contributed to medical knowledge of thyroid hormone biosynthesis and metabolism through more than 70 papers. Her findings on the risks of iodine deficiencies in children prompted her to pursue international public health campaigns for iodization of salt and other methods through Kiwanis International and UNICEF. She also served as chief of the endocrinology service at the Birmingham VA Medical Center.

Pittman was married to fellow endocrinologist James Pittman and had two sons; James and John.


  • Frank, Stuart J. ( 2010) "In Memoriam: Constance Shen Pittman, MD". Southern Society for Clinical Investigation