Joseph L. Goldstein

National Medal of Science

Biological Sciences

For their historic discovery of the basic mechanisms controlling cholesterol metabolism, opening the way to a new pharmacologic approach to the treatment of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death and disability in the Western world.

For their historic discovery of the basic mechanisms controlling cholesterol metabolism, opening the way to a new pharmacologic approach to the treatment of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death and disability in the Western world.

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Birth
April 18, 1940
Age Awarded
48
Awarded With
Michael S. Brown
Country of Birth
USA
Key Contributions
Receptor Mediated Endocytosis; Breakthrough For Development Of Cholesterol Treatment
Awarded by
Ronald Wilson Reagan
Education
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Washington and Lee University
Areas of Impact
Health & Medicine
Affiliations
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Other Prizes
Nobel Prize
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Sometimes two people cross paths and it changes countless lives. When the Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Southwestern Medical School encouraged Joseph Goldstein to pursue academic medicine as his career, he could not have known the implications of the advice. The chairman offered Goldstein a future faculty position, recognizing his potential in genetics. But at the time Goldstein was still in medical school.

In 1966, Goldstein would strike up a friendship with Michael Brown while they were both interns. The fateful meeting would have a dramatic impact on both of their lives not to mention millions of others. In 1985, the pair would win the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their research into how a particular genetic defect can influence cholesterol. Specifically, they discovered LDL receptors and how they regulate cholesterol in the body. Ultimately, the findings would lay the foundation for the formation of statin drugs, changing the way doctors treated cholesterol to prevent heart disease. Later on, the two would discover the SREBP family of transcription factors, groundbreaking in cholesterol research as well.

Goldstein is currently at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, chairman of the Department of Molecular Genetics. 

By Melissa Ayala

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