Insights from

Nobel Laureates, for scientists everywhere

Joseph Goldstein and Michael Brown

United Kingdom – Cambridge

20th Oct – 21st Oct 2014

In a truly unique event, Nobel Laureates Joseph L. Goldstein and Michael S. Brown visited Cambridge in October 2014 for the Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiative. Brown and Goldstein have worked together for over 40 years, in one of the most famous and enduring collaborations in science. The pair jointly run the Brown/Goldstein Laboratory at the University of Texas Southwestern.

The highlights of the event are summarised in this short video:


You can hear Dr Brown’s insights into cholesterol and collaboration in his lecture video:


Photographer: Adam Smyth


Speaking in advance of the event, Joseph Goldstein said

I am excited to travel to Cambridge with my colleague Michael Brown. NPII has offered us a great opportunity to meet with some of the UK’s top young researchers and to interact with scientists from AstraZeneca and MedImmune. I am certain that we will have some interesting discussions during the visit and hope that we will inspire others to collaborate in their scientific careers

And his long-term collaborator and fellow Nobel Laureate, Michael Brown, also shared a few words about the Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiative in asvance

This will be my second NPII event. In 2011, I met many excellent young scientists in Philadelphia, and I look forward to similarly positive interactions with those in Cambridge. NPII offers a unique opportunity for Laureates to share our stories and our insights, and I look forward to doing so alongside my long-term collaborator, Joseph Goldstein

Joseph Goldstein

Joseph Goldstein

Joseph L. Goldstein is currently Chairman of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.  In 1985, he was named Regental Professor of the University of Texas.  He also holds the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine and the Julie and Louis A. Beecherl Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science.

Dr Goldstein and his colleague, Michael S. Brown, discovered the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor and worked out how these receptors control cholesterol homeostasis.  At the basic level, this work opened the field of receptor-mediated endocytosis, and at the clinical level it helped lay the conceptual groundwork for development of drugs called statins that lower blood LDL-cholesterol and prevent heart attacks.  Drs Goldstein and Brown shared many awards for this work, including the Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research (1985), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1985), and National Medal of Science (1988).

In recent work, Drs. Goldstein and Brown discovered the SREBP family of transcription factors and showed how these membrane-bound molecules control the synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids through a newly described process of Regulated Intramembrane Proteolysis.  For this work, Drs. Brown and Goldstein received the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research (2003).

Dr Goldstein is currently Chairman of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards Jury and is a member of the Boards of Trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and The Rockefeller University.  He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Welch Foundation, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the Broad Institute.  He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

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 moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, 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 US National Medal of Science and the 1985 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology.