Jay D. Horton obtained his B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Iowa in 1984 and 1988, respectively. He completed his internal medicine residency (1988-1991) and gastroenterology fellowship (1991-1994) at UT Southwestern Medical Center. During his gastroenterology fellowship he studied metabolic regulators of bile acid and cholesterol homeostasis in animals. Following the gastroenterology fellowship, he completed a Howard Hughes post doctoral fellowship in the Department of Molecular Genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The studies in this fellowship focused on the transcriptional regulation of cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis.

In clinical digestive diseases, Dr. Horton has an interest in conditions that lead to steatosis and obesity. Currently the laboratory is investigating molecular mediators of steatosis using various mouse models. Investigations from the laboratory have revealed how the primary transcriptional regulators of cholesterol metabolism (sterol regulatory element-binding proteins) are also key regulators of fatty acid synthesis in liver.

A major focus of the laboratory is to determine how these transcriptional regulators contribute to the development of steatosis in various disease processes such as diabetes, obesity, and beta-oxidation defects.

A second area of investigation centers on determining the function of PCSK9, a protein that is involved in determining plasma LDL cholesterol levels through its ability to post-transcriptionally regulate the expression of the LDL receptor in liver.


Medical School University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (1988)
Internship/Residency Parkland Health and Hospital System (1991), Internal Medicine
Fellowship UT Southwestern Medical Center (1994), Gastroenterology
Fellowship UT Southwestern Medical Center (1997), Molecular Genetics

Specialty Areas

Clinical Interest

  • Internal Medicine

Research Interest

  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Lipid metabolism


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

The Scap/SREBP Pathway Is Essential for Developing Diabetic Fatty Liver and Carbohydrate-Induced Hypertriglyceridemia in Animals.
Moon YA, Liang G, Xie X, Frank-Kamenetsky M, Fitzgerald K, Koteliansky V, Brown MS, Goldstein JL, Horton JD Cell Metab. 2012 Feb 15 2 240-6
Human fatty liver disease: old questions and new insights.
Cohen JC, Horton JD, Hobbs HH Science 2011 Jun 332 6037 1519-23
Crystal structure of Spot 14, a modulator of fatty acid synthesis.
Colbert CL, Kim CW, Moon YA, Henry L, Palnitkar M, McKean WB, Fitzgerald K, Deisenhofer J, Horton JD, Kwon HJ Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2010 Nov 107 44 18820-5
Fasting reduces plasma proprotein convertase, subtilisin/kexin type 9 and cholesterol biosynthesis in humans.
Browning JD, Horton JD J. Lipid Res. 2010 Nov 51 11 3359-63
Induced polymerization of mammalian acetyl-CoA carboxylase by MIG12 provides a tertiary level of regulation of fatty acid synthesis.
Kim CW, Moon YA, Park SW, Cheng D, Kwon HJ, Horton JD Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2010 May 107 21 9626-31

Honors & Awards

  • Association of American Physicians
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • Established Investigator
    American Heart Foundation (2000)
  • PEW Scholar
    PEW Foundation (2000)
  • Research Scholar Award
    American Digestive Health Foundation (1999)