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 postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Earl Stadtman at the National Institutes of Health. In 1971, he came to UT Southwestern 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 UT Southwestern.

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. They have received many awards for this work, including the U.S. National Medal of Science and the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology.


University of Pennsylvania (1962)
Medical School
University of Pennsylvania (1966)

Research Interest

  • Genetics of human disease
  • Mechanism of vesicular transport in animal cells
  • Regulation of cholesterol metabolism and membrane composition


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Lysosomal cholesterol export reconstituted from fragments of Niemann-Pick C1.
Trinh MN, Brown MS, Seemann J, Goldstein JL, Lu F Elife 2018 Jul 7
BHLHE40, a third transcription factor required for insulin induction of SREBP-1c mRNA in rodent liver.
Tian J, Wu J, Chen X, Guo T, Chen ZJ, Goldstein JL, Brown MS Elife 2018 Jun 7

Honors & Awards

  • Rolf Luft Prize
    Karolinska Institute (2016)
  • Earl and Thressa Stadtman Distinguished Scientist Award
    American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2011)
  • Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research
  • Warren Alpert Foundation Prize
  • US National Medal of Science
  • Albert D. Lasker Prize in Basic Medical Research
  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • Association of American Physicians
  • Institute of Medicine
  • Royal Society (London)
  • U.S. National Academy of Sciences