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

Retrospective on Cholesterol Homeostasis: The Central Role of Scap.
Brown MS, Radhakrishnan A, Goldstein JL Annu. Rev. Biochem. 2017 Aug
Cholesterol-induced conformation changes in the sterol-sensing domain of the scap protein suggest feedback mechanism to control cholesterol synthesis.
Gao Y, Zhou Y, Goldstein JL, Brown MS, Radhakrishnan A J. Biol. Chem. 2017 Apr
Triazoles inhibit cholesterol export from lysosomes by binding to NPC1.
Trinh MN, Lu F, Li X, Das A, Liang Q, De Brabander JK, Brown MS, Goldstein JL Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2016 Dec
Insulin induction of SREBP-1c in rodent liver requires LXRa-C/EBPß complex.
Tian J, Goldstein JL, Brown MS Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2016 Jul 113 29 8182-7
Identification of NPC1 as the target of U18666A, an inhibitor of lysosomal cholesterol export and Ebola infection.
Lu F, Liang Q, Abi-Mosleh L, Das A, De Brabander JK, Goldstein JL, Brown MS Elife 2015 Dec 4
Reduced autophagy in livers of fasted, fat-depleted, ghrelin-deficient mice: Reversal by growth hormone.
Zhang Y, Fang F, Goldstein JL, Brown MS, Zhao TJ Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2015 Jan 112 4 1226-31
Three pools of plasma membrane cholesterol and their relation to cholesterol homeostasis.
Das A, Brown MS, Anderson DD, Goldstein JL, Radhakrishnan A Elife 2014 Jun e02882
Induced Ablation of Ghrelin Cells in Adult Mice Does Not Decrease Food Intake, Body Weight, or Response to High-Fat Diet.
McFarlane MR, Brown MS, Goldstein JL, Zhao TJ Cell Metab. 2014 May
Use of mutant 125I-Perfringolysin O to probe transport and organization of cholesterol in membranes of animal cells.
Das A, Goldstein JL, Anderson DD, Brown MS, Radhakrishnan A Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2013 Jun 110 26 10580-5
Point Mutation in Luminal Loop 7 of Scap Blocks Interaction with Loop 1 and Abolishes Movement to Golgi.
Zhang Y, Motamed M, Seemann J, Brown MS, Goldstein JL J. Biol. Chem. 2013 Apr

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