Joel Goodman was born in New York City but grew up in Los Angeles.  He received a B.A. from UC San Diego in 1971 with a major in biology and minor in music.  Before entering graduate school he worked as a research technician at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles and also pursued his interest as a classical pianist, giving several recitals in the Los Angeles area. In 1975 Dr. Goodman began his doctoral studies in Pharmacology in the laboratory of Paul Hochstein. The interest of the laboratory was oxygen metabolism, and Dr. Goodman’s dissertation developed his observation in the laboratory that the anthracycline cancer drugs undergo redox cycling causing tissue toxicity. After graduating in 1980, he performed his postdoctoral training in William Wicker’s laboratory at UCLA, where he studied protein translocation across membranes. Dr. Goodman’s contributions include cloning the bacterial leader peptidase and establishing an in vitro system to study translocation of a model viral protein.

In 1982 Dr. Goodman joined the pharmacology faculty of UT Southwestern, where he has remained ever since. For the next two decades he studied the assembly of peroxisomes, using yeast as a model system.  His contributions include the identification of the first peroxisomal membrane sorting signal, the first peroxisomal fission factor, and the oligomeric import pathway.  In more recent years he has studied lipid droplet assembly, particularly the role of lipodystrophy proteins in this process.

Outside of UT Southwestern, Dr. Goodman has maintained his interest in classical piano. In the past several years he has performed in piano competitions in the US and abroad and was featured as soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony in 2010 and 2014.


University of California-San D (1971)
Graduate School
University of California-Los A (1980), Molecular Biology

Research Interest

  • Lipid droplets
  • Membrane structure
  • Peroxisomes
  • Protein trafficking
  • Yeast cell biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Seipin: harvesting fat and keeping adipocytes healthy.
Rao MJ, Goodman JM, Trends Cell Biol 2021 Jun
The Life Cycle of Lipid Droplets
Hashemi HF and Goodman JM Current Opinion in Cell Biology 2015 33 April
Seipin - from human disease to molecular mechanism
Cartwright, B.R. and Goodman, J.M. JLR 2012 53 June (6)
Nuclear envelope phosphatase 1-regulatory subunit 1 (formerly TMEM188) is the metazoan SPO7 ortholog and functions in the lipin activation pathway
Han, S., Bahamanyar, S., Zhang, P., Grishin, N., Oegema, K., Crooke, R., Graham, M., Reue, K., Dixon, J.E., and Goodman, J.M. J. Biol. Chem. 2012 287 5
Seipin is a discrete homooligomer
Binns, D., Lee, S., Hilton, C.L., Jiang, Q.-K., and Goodman, J.M. Biochemistry 2010 49 10747-10755

Honors & Awards

  • Minnie Stevens Piper Professorship
  • University of Texas Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award
  • Distinguished Basic Science Educator Award
  • John P. Perkins Distinguished Professorship in Biomedical Science
  • University of Texas Academy of Health Science Education
  • Southwestern Academy of Teachers
  • Jan and Bob Bullock Distinguished Chair for Science Education
  • Outstanding Teacher Award
    Medical School sophomore class, various years (1987-2007)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Sigma XI