Michael S. Brown: Nobel Prize
in Physiology or Medicine-1985
by Seymour “Sy” Brody
Michael S. Brown is an American recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, in 1985, which he shared with Joseph L. Goldstein for their discoveries concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism.
Brown was born on April 13, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York. His mother, Evelyn Brown, was a housewife and his father, Harvey Brown, was a textile salesman. His family moved to Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Michael was interested in amateur radio and he received a radio operating licence when he was 13 years old. He had a sister, Susan, who was three years younger.
When Brown graduated Cheltenham High School, he enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry, in 1962. He continued with his postgraduate studies and received a M.D. Degree, in 1966, from the University of Pennsylvania. In the next two years he was an intern and then a resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
In 1966, he married Alice Lapin. They had two daughters, Elizabeth (b. in 1973) and Sara (b. in 1977).
After his internship, Brown went to the National Institutes of Health as a Clinical Associate. He then joined the Laboratory of Biochemistry, headed by Earl R. Stadtman, a pioneer in the disclosure of the mechanisms by which enzymes are regulated.
In 1971, motivated by his friend, Joseph Goldstein, he joined the Division of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, in Dallas. He and Goldstein worked together on a number of projects.
In 1974, he was elevated to the rank of Associate Professor. He became a Professor in 1976. In 1985, Brown was appointed Regental Professor of the University of Texas.
Honorary Degrees, Awards and Honors:
• Doctor of Science, University of Chicago, 1982
• Doctor of Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1982
• Heinrich Wieland Prize for Research in Lipid Metabolism, 1974 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• Pfizer Award for Enzyme Chemistry of the American Chemical Society, 1976 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• Albion O. Bernstein Award of the New York State Medical Society, 1977 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• Passano Award, 1978 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• Lounsbery Award of the U.S. Academy of Science, 1979 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• Gairdner Foundation International, 1981 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• New York Academy of Sciences Award in Biological and Medical Sciences, 1979 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• Lita Annenberg Hazen Award, 1982 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• V.D. Mattia Award of the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, 1984 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• Distinguished Research Award of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 1984 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• Research Achievement Award of the American Heart Association, 1984 (Shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• Louise Gross Horwitz Award, 1984 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• 3M Life Sciences Award of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 1985 (shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• William Allan Award of the American Society of Human Genetics, 1985 (Shared with Joseph Goldstein)
• Albert D. Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research, 1985 (shared with Joseph Goldstein).
Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein have jointly given many lectures on their work to many universities and scientific organizations.
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