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

History of science. A golden era of Nobel laureates.
Goldstein JL, Brown MS Science 2012 Nov 338 6110 1033-4
Insulin stimulation of SREBP-1c processing in transgenic rat hepatocytes requires p70 S6-kinase.
Owen JL, Zhang Y, Bae SH, Farooqi MS, Liang G, Hammer RE, Goldstein JL, Brown MS Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2012 Oct 109 40 16184-9
Scientific side trips: six excursions from the beaten path.
Brown MS, Goldstein JL J. Biol. Chem. 2012 Jun 287 27 22418-35
Profound hypoglycemia in starved, ghrelin-deficient mice is caused by decreased gluconeogenesis and reversed by lactate or fatty acids.
Li RL, Sherbet DP, Elsbernd BL, Goldstein JL, Brown MS, Zhao TJ J. Biol. Chem. 2012 May 287 22 17942-50
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
Amino acid substitution in NPC1 that abolishes cholesterol binding reproduces phenotype of complete NPC1 deficiency in mice.
Xie X, Brown MS, Shelton JM, Richardson JA, Goldstein JL, Liang G Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2011 Sep 108 37 15330-5
Identification of luminal Loop 1 of Scap protein as the sterol sensor that maintains cholesterol homeostasis.
Motamed M, Zhang Y, Wang ML, Seemann J, Kwon HJ, Goldstein JL, Brown MS J. Biol. Chem. 2011 May 286 20 18002-12
Ghrelin secretion stimulated by {beta}1-adrenergic receptors in cultured ghrelinoma cells and in fasted mice.
Zhao TJ, Sakata I, Li RL, Liang G, Richardson JA, Brown MS, Goldstein JL, Zigman JM Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2010 Sep 107 36 15868-73
Identification of surface residues on Niemann-Pick C2 essential for hydrophobic handoff of cholesterol to NPC1 in lysosomes.
Wang ML, Motamed M, Infante RE, Abi-Mosleh L, Kwon HJ, Brown MS, Goldstein JL Cell Metab. 2010 Aug 12 2 166-73
Medicine. HDL miR-ed down by SREBP introns.
Brown MS, Ye J, Goldstein JL Science 2010 Jun 328 5985 1495-6

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