Joel Goodman was born in New York City but grew up in Los Angeles.  He received a B.A. from UC San Diego in 1971 with a major in biology and minor in music.  Before entering graduate school he worked as a research technician at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles and also pursued his interest as a classical pianist, giving several recitals in the Los Angeles area. In 1975 Dr. Goodman began his doctoral studies in Pharmacology in the laboratory of Paul Hochstein. The interest of the laboratory was oxygen metabolism, and Dr. Goodman’s dissertation developed his observation in the laboratory that the anthracycline cancer drugs undergo redox cycling causing tissue toxicity. After graduating in 1980, he performed his postdoctoral training in William Wicker’s laboratory at UCLA, where he studied protein translocation across membranes. Dr. Goodman’s contributions include cloning the bacterial leader peptidase and establishing an in vitro system to study translocation of a model viral protein.

In 1982 Dr. Goodman joined the pharmacology faculty of UT Southwestern, where he has remained ever since.  For the next two decades he studied the assembly of peroxisomes, using yeast as a model system.  His contributions include the identification of the first peroxisomal membrane sorting signal, the first peroxisomal fission factor, and the oligomeric import pathway.  In more recent years he has studied lipid droplet assembly, particularly the role of lipodystrophy proteins in this process.

Outside of UT Southwestern, Dr. Goodman has maintained his interest in classical piano. In the past several years he has performed in piano competitions in the US and abroad and was featured as soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony in June, 2010.


Undergraduate University of California-San Diego (1971)
Graduate School University of California-Los Angeles (1980), Molecular Biology

Research Interest

  • Lipid droplets
  • Membrane structure
  • Peroxisomes
  • Protein trafficking
  • Yeast cell biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Seipin promotes lipid droplet formation independent of neutral lipid synthesis
HIlton CL, Binns DD, Han S, Cartwright BR, and Goodman JM submitted Sept 2012 2013
Demonstrated and inferred metabolism associated with cytosolic lipid droiplets
Goodman, J.M. J. Lipid Res. 2009 11 2148-2156
An intimate collaboration between peroxisomes and lipid bodies
Binns, D.D., Januszewski, T.C., Chen, Y., Hill, J.J., Markin, V.S., Zhao, Y., Gilpin, C.J., Chapman, K.D., Anderson, R.G.W., and Goodman, J.M. J. Cell Biol. June 2006 173 719-731
Multiple targeting modules on peroxisomal proteins are not redundant: discrete functions of targeting signals within Pmp47 and Pex8p.
Wang X, McMahon MA, Shelton SN, Nampaisansuk M, Ballard JL, Goodman JM Mol. Biol. Cell 2004 Apr 15 4 1702-10

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Teacher Award
    Medical School sophomore class, 1987, 1988, 2007 (2007)
  • Faculty Research Award, American Cancer Society
    Biogenesis of peroxisomes (1987)
  • Postdoctoral NIH Fellowship
    Protein translocation in E. coli (1980)
  • Postdoctoral Tumor Cell Biology Training Grant
    Cloning gene for leader peptidase (1979)
  • Predoctoral NIH-NCI Fellowship
    Exploration of drugs which cause redox cycling (1975)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Sigma XI