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UT Southwestern researchers, Nobel Prize winners share 2003 Albany Medical Center Prize

DALLAS April 30, 2003 Dr. Michael S. Brown and Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein, whose groundbreaking studies have led to the development of lifesaving, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs used by millions of people worldwide, have been named co-recipients of the $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.

The Albany Medical Center Prize, established in 2000, is the largest prize in medicine in the United States and the second largest in the world outside of the Nobel Prize. Brown and Goldstein shared the 1985 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their discovery of the mechanism by which cholesterol accumulates in the bloodstream, leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis, which is responsible for more than half the deaths in the United States by heart attack or stroke.

The Albany Medical Center Prize recognized the scientific duo for their post-Nobel contributions pertaining to how a family of proteins regulates cholesterol synthesis by specifically controlling the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors, which play a key role in cholesterol build-up.

"Joe and I are grateful to the committee for selecting us for this honor," said Brown, professor of molecular genetics, "and we are grateful to the many students, postdoctoral fellows and colleagues who have contributed mightily to this effort over the past 15 years."

Working together at UT Southwestern since the early 1970s, Drs. Brown and Goldstein identified low-density lipoprotein receptors on the surface of cells, tiny but complex molecules that recognize, bind to and admit LDL cholesterol into cells. A deficiency in LDL receptors leads to a buildup of LDL in blood, causing heart attacks at a young age. Their groundbreaking research led to effective new drugs to treat high cholesterol.

Since winning the Nobel Prize, the researchers discovered a family of membrane-bound proteins, called Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins (SREBPs),
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Contact: Susan Morrison
susan.morrison@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
30-Apr-2003


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