Dr. David J. Mangelsdorf received his BS in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff (1981) and his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Arizona in Tucson (1987). He did his postdoctoral studies at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Since 1993 he has been at UT Southwestern, where he currently is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He holds the Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Molecular Neuropharmacology, in Honor of Harold B. Crasilneck, PhD and the Alfred G. Gilman Distinguished Chair in Pharmacology, and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Mangelsdorf runs a joint laboratory with Dr. Steven Kliewer, and together their research team is focused on nuclear receptor regulation of metabolism. Their early work identifying the ligands and physiologic functions of a number of orphan nuclear receptors led them to discover two new signaling pathways mediated by the endocrine factors FGF19 and FGF21, which govern nutrient metabolism during feeding and fasting. Together, this work has uncovered potential therapeutic targets for diseases such as cholestasis, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. The Mangelsdorf/Kliewer lab also discovered the existence of a nuclear receptor pathway in parasitic nematodes, and has shown that pharmacophores that target this pathway may represent a new class of anthelmintic agents.



Northern Arizona University , Aquatic Biology
Graduate School
University of Arizona (1987)

Research Interest

  • Nuclear receptors in physiology and disease
  • Nutrient metabolsim and regulation of energy expenditure
  • Roles of FGF19 and FGF21 in metabolism and behavior
  • Targeting nuclear receptors in parasites


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Honors & Awards

  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Northern Arizona University
  • The Rolf Luft Award
    Karolinska Institutet, for outstanding contributions in endocrinology and diabetes research. (2012)
  • Docteur Honoris Causa, Universite Blaise Pascal
  • National Academy of Sciences
  • Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Medicine
    The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (2007)
  • Transatlantic Medal
    The European Society of Endocrinology (2006)
  • Gerald D. Aurbach Award
    The Endocrine Society (2004)
  • Heinrich Wieland Prize
    Boehringer Ingelheim (2003)
  • Adolf Windaus Prize
    Work in the field of bile acid research (2000)
  • John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology
    American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (1997)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • National Academy of Sciences (2008)
  • The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (2008)
  • The Endocrine Society