Michael S. Brown, M.D.
Director of the Jonsson Center for Molecular Genetics
Co-Director of the MD/PhD Program
Molecular Genetics and Internal Medicine
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Michael S. Brown received a B.A. degree in Chemistry in
1962 and an M.D. degree in 1966 from the University of Pennsylvania.
He was an intern and resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital,
and a post doctoral fellow with Dr. Earl Stadtman at the National Institutes
of Health. In 1971, he came to Dallas where he rose through
the ranks to become a professor in 1976. He is currently Paul J. Thomas
Professor of Molecular Genetics and Director of the Jonsson Center for
Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical
School in Dallas. Dr. Brown is a former member of the Board of Directors
of Pfizer, Inc. and was Chairman of its Science and Technology Committee.
Dr. Brown and his long-time colleague, Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein, together
discovered the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, which
controls the level of cholesterol in blood and in cells. They showed
that mutations in this receptor cause Familial Hypercholesterolemia,
a disorder that leads to premature heart attacks in one out
of every 500 people in most populations. Their work laid the theoretical
groundwork for the development of a class of drugs called statins that
block cholesterol synthesis, increase LDL receptors, lower blood
cholesterol and prevent heart attacks. Statins are taken daily by more
than 20 million people worldwide. Brown and Goldstein have received
many awards for this work, including the U.S. National Medal of Science
and the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology.