UT Southwestern scientist receives international award for lipid research

DALLAS Dr. David J. Mangelsdorf, professor of pharmacology and biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and an associate investigator in the university's Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been awarded Germany's highly respected Heinrich Wieland Prize for his research on lipids.

The prestigious international science award is given annually to one individual for research in the fields of biochemistry, chemistry and physiology of fats and lipids and its clinical importance.

Dr. Mangelsdorf's research focuses on the mechanisms of nuclear receptor proteins that serve as sensors in protecting human cells against unusually high and possibly toxic levels of lipids, such as cholesterol and fatty acids. These lipid-sensing proteins play a central role in the maintenance of physiological levels of lipids consumed with food. Dr. Mangelsdorf's work signifies an important contribution to the elucidation of the mechanism that the body uses to restore the balance following an increase in cholesterol levels.

Three other UT Southwestern scientists have received the Wieland Prize since its inception in 1963.

Nobel laureates Drs. Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein claimed the award in 1974 for their research in lipoprotein receptors and the genetic control of cholesterol metabolism. They shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1985 for their discovery of the underlying mechanisms of cholesterol metabolism, which led to the development of statin drugs now used by 13 million Americans to treat high cholesterol.

Dr. John Dietschy, professor of internal medicine, received the Wieland Prize in 1983 while he was chief of gastroenterology at UT Southwestern for his research into the regulation of cholesterol balance in tissues.

"It is quite an honor to be considered in the running for this award, next to these other great names, and even more to receive it," said Dr. Mangelsdorf. "It reflects the great stature o

Contact: Donna Steph Hansard
UT Southwestern Medical Center

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