Dr. Bethany Janowski received her BS from the University of Wisconsin in 1988 and a MS in Biological Sciences, with an emphasis in neuroendocrinology in 1990. Dr. Janowski moved to Dallas in 1993 to attend graduate school at UT Southwestern. She joined the lab of Dr. Mangelsdorf in the Department of Pharmacology. While in graduate school, Dr. Janowski discovered that oxidized cholesterol was the ligand for the "orphan" nuclear hormone receptor, LXR. This discovery correctly suggested that LXR was a key regulator of cholesterol homeostasis. Her identification and extensive study of these oxidized cholesterol ligands for the LXR receptor became the foundation for medicinal chemistry/drug development for LXR. In 1998 she was awarded the Alfred Gilman Award in Pharmacology and in 1999 received her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology in 1999. Postdoctoral training included further study in cholesterol regulation in the Department of Molecular Genetics, and developing new strategies for silencing gene expression in the Center for Biomedical Inventions at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Janowski joined the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology in 2004. In 2005 she discovered that RNA silences endogenous genes at the level of the chromosome. In 2007 she discovered that RNA can specifically activate gene expression inside cells. Her current research focuses on studying how endogenous regulatory RNAs regulate nuclear hormone receptor gene expression inside cells.


University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1988), Zoology
Graduate School
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1990)
Graduate School
University of Texas Southwestern Med Ctr Dallas (1999)

Research Interest

  • Developing novel technology to selectively activate or silence genes within chromosomal DNA
  • Mechanisms controlling recognition of DNA and gene transcription
  • Recognition of chromosomal DNA by synthetic molecules
  • Using new technology to study nuclear hormone receptors


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Minireview: Switching on progesterone receptor expression with duplex RNA.
Janowski BA, Corey DR Mol. Endocrinol. 2010 Dec 24 12 2243-52
Involvement of argonaute proteins in gene silencing and activation by RNAs complementary to a non-coding transcript at the progesterone receptor promoter.
Chu Y, Yue X, Younger ST, Janowski BA, Corey DR Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Nov 38 21 7736-48
Involvement of AGO1 and AGO2 in mammalian transcriptional gene silencing
Janowski, B.A., Huffman, K.E., Schwartz, J.C., Ram, R., Shames, D.S., Minna, J.D., Corey, D.R. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology September 2006 13 787
Inhibiting transcription of chromosomal DNA with antigene peptide nucleic acids.
Janowski, B. A., Kaihatsu, K., Huffman, K. E., Schwartz, J., Ram, R., Hardy, D., Mendelson, C.R., and Corey, D. R. Nature Chemical Biology September 2005 1 210-215
Inhibiting gene expression at transcription start sites in chromosomal DNA with antigene RNAs.
Janowski, B. A., Huffman, K. E., Schwartz, J., Ram, R., Hardy, D., Shames, D. S., Minna, J. D., and Corey, D. R. Nature Chemical Biology September 2005 1 216-222

Honors & Awards

  • Awarded High Impacrt/High Risk Grant, Dean’s Office, UTSW
    Mechanism of Promoter-Directed RNAs on Gene Transcription (2008)
  • Awarded Research Grant, Harold Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UTSW
    RNA Switches at Gene Promoters: Turning off Cancer Cell Proliferation (2008)
  • Plenary lecture, 4th International Symposium on Nucleic Acids Chemistry, Kyushu University, Japan
    Using RNA to turn off genes within chromosomal DNA (2005)
  • Alfred Gilman Award
    Best Ph.D. thesis in the Department of Pharmacology (1998)
  • Invited speaker, Hormone Action Gordon Conference
    Presented Ph.D. thesis work: discovery of new cholesterol signaling pathway (1998)