Joseph L. Goldstein

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Joseph L. Goldstein is a molecular geneticist from the United States who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1985. He found that human cells have low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors that remove cholesterol from the blood while working with a long-time collaborator and friend Michael Brown. This discovery prompted more study and testing, culminating in the invention of statin medicines for the treatment of high cholesterol in humans. Goldstein became interested in science when he was a child and went on to Washington and Lee University, where he earned a BS in chemistry, summa cum laude. He went on to Texas University’s Southwestern Medical School to study medicine. After getting his MD, he worked for a few years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in biochemical genetics before returning to Southwestern Medical Center in 1972. In the same year, Goldstein and his colleague Michael Brown began long and fruitful cooperation that would endure more than four decades. The two men conducted groundbreaking research on cholesterol in the human body, shedding fresh insight on the role of cell receptors in cholesterol regulation in the bloodstream. For their essential contributions to medical science, Goldstein and Brown have received numerous prestigious accolades, including the Nobel Prize.

Childhood and Adolescence

Joseph Leonard Goldstein was born in Kingstree, South Carolina, on April 18, 1940. Fannie (Alpert) and Isadore E. Goldstein owned and operated a garment store. He was the couple’s only child.
He had an early interest in science and attended Washington & Lee University in Lexington, where he received a BS degree in chemistry, summa cum laude, in 1962.

After that, he went to Southwestern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas, where he received his MD in 1966. Donald W. Seldin, Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, promised Goldstein a potential teaching position provided he trained in genetics and returned to Dallas during his final year.

He relocated to Boston as an Intern and Resident in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital after getting his MD degree. He met Michael S. Brown there, with whom he would develop a close connection and long-term scientific partnership in the future.

Joseph L. Goldstein’s Career

After completing his residency, Joseph L. Goldstein went to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1972, he returned to the Southwestern Medical Center, where he accepted a position as the chief of the newly founded Division of Medical Genetics, as suggested by Seldin. In Seldin’s Department of Internal Medicine, he was also promoted to Assistant Professor.

His formal scientific partnership with Brown began around this period. In 1974, he was promoted to Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, and in 1976, he was promoted to Professor.
Goldstein and Brown launched a targeted investigation into the cholesterol levels in human blood. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL)—the principal cholesterol-carrying particles—are taken from the bloodstream into the body’s cells via receptors on the cells’ surface, according to their findings.

They also looked into familial hypercholesterolemia, which is a condition in which the body’s tissues are unable to remove cholesterol from the bloodstream. They discovered that the condition is caused by a deficiency of LDL receptors. They also assisted in the development of medications to decrease blood cholesterol levels as part of their work.

Goldstein was named Chairman of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Paul J. Thomas Professor of Medicine and Genetics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas in 1977. In 1985, he was appointed Regental Professor at the University of Texas. From 1973 to 1985, he and Brown collaborated on over a hundred key papers.

Goldstein and Brown were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1985 for their breakthrough contributions to medical science. Over the years, they continued to collaborate and achieved a number of other significant discoveries.

Goldstein and Brown identified a novel class of transcription factors known as sterol regulatory element-binding proteins in the 1990s (SREBPs). SREBPs were discovered to be in charge of cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis after more research in the field. They also described the activation process that allows SREBPs to regulate lipid metabolism.

In 2015, Goldstein was named a Life Trustee of Rockefeller University. He is also Chairman of the Broad Institute’s Board of Scientific Counselors and a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Board of Trustees.
In recent years, he has written a series of essays about science as a creative endeavor. These essays, published in the magazine ‘Nature Medicine,’ explore the connections between art and science.

His Major Projects

Joseph L. Goldstein and his colleague Michael Brown made numerous significant advancements to our understanding of cholesterol in the human bloodstream. Their research into the mechanisms that cause cholesterol to build up in the bloodstream led to the invention of statin drugs, a family of lipid-reducing medications that are helpful in lowering cholesterol levels in those who have high cholesterol.

Achievements & Awards

He and Michael S. Brown earned the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for Biology or Biochemistry in 1984.
“For their findings concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism,” Joseph L. Goldstein and Michael S. Brown shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1985.

In the field of molecular genetics, he was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1988.
Goldstein and Brown received the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize (2000), the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research (2003), and the Stadtman Distinguished Scientist Award for their work on the SREBP pathway (2011).

Personal History and Legacy

Goldstein has never been married. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to classical music.

Estimated Net Worth

Joseph L Goldstein’s net worth is estimated to be $ USD 2 million, with a primary source of income as a geneticist, physician, chemist, university professor, and biochemist. We don’t have enough information about Joseph L Goldstein’s cars or lifestyle.