February 2011

Brown and Goldstein honored with ASBMB’s inaugural Stadtman award

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has named Nobel laureates Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein, pioneers in the study of cholesterol metabolism, the joint winners of its first Earl and Thressa Stadtman Distinguished Scientist Award.

 

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has named Nobel laureates Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein, pioneers in the study of cholesterol metabolism, the joint winners of its first Earl and Thressa Stadtman Distinguished Scientist Award.

Ira Pastan of the National Cancer Institute, who nominated the pair for the award, says their “sustained record of joint discoveries places them at the forefront of regulatory biochemistry, the field that was pioneered by Earl Stadtman.”

Brown and Goldstein, both of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, shared the 1985 Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for their discovery of the low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, receptor and the process of receptor-mediated endocytosis. In recent years, they discovered sterol regulatory element-binding proteins and the process of regulated intramembrane proteolysis.

“It is intensely poignant for Joe and me to accept this award in the name of Earl and Thressa Stadtman. My fellowship with Earl imbued me with a love of enzyme regulation. Later Earl adopted Joe as well, and the two of us enjoyed a long and inspirational friendship with him.” – MICHAEL S. BROWN

The researchers met at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in the 1960s and have collaborated ever since. From 1968 to 1971, Brown worked at the National Institutes of Health, initially as a clinical associate in gastroenterology and hereditary disease and later in the biochemistry laboratory headed by Earl Stadtman himself. Meanwhile, Goldstein spent 1968 through 1970 at the NIH as well, working in the laboratory of Marshall W. Nirenberg and at the National Heart Institute.

In 1971, Brown joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. A year later, so did Goldstein. (It’s worth noting that Goldstein had attended medical school there, so, for him, it was a homecoming of sorts.)

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