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The First - But Not the Last - Nobel Prize for North Texas

Just as the North Texas Commission connects the best of this region’s business, government and nonprofit organizations to propel economic development, UT Southwestern brings together the brightest minds in science and medicine to promote health and a healthy society.

In 1985, UT Southwestern faculty members and researchers Dr. Michael S. Brown and Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein were honored with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. This first-ever Nobel Prize recognition for North Texas is a result of the discovery by Drs. Brown and Goldstein of how the body regulates cholesterol and the treatment of diseases caused by abnormally elevated cholesterol levels in the blood.

Drs. Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein (left to right)

Drs. Brown and Goldstein’s research provided the knowledge base for the development of statin drugs, which help regulate cholesterol, improve the quality of life for millions of people, and save lives. Used by 16 million Americans today, statins are the most widely prescribed medications in the United States. All statins work in more or less the same way to lower bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) in patients at high risk for cardiac events. Their discovery and the use of statins reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke for countless people.

With a focus on innovation and world- class research, UT Southwestern’s research and work has been recognized with six Nobel Prizes in the last 35 years—two for Cholesterol Regulation, and one each for Membrane Protein Structure, Cell Signaling, Innate Immunity, and Synapses and Neural Function.

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