Center Directors

Michael S. Brown, M.D.

Director, Erik Jonsson Center for Research in Molecular Genetics and Human Disease, and Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics
Michael S. Brown, M.D.

Holder of the:

  • W.A. (Monty) Moncrief Distinguished Chair in Cholesterol and Arteriosclerosis Research
  • Regental Professorship
  • Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine

Michael S. Brown, M.D., serves as Director of the Erik Jonsson Center for Research in Molecular Genetics and Human Disease and on the faculty of the Department of Molecular Genetics. Together with his long time colleague, Joseph L. Goldstein, M.D., Dr. Brown discovered the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, which controls cholesterol levels in blood and cells. Their work laid the groundwork for the development of a class of drugs called statins that block cholesterol synthesis, increase LDL receptors, lower blood cholesterol, and prevent heart attacks. Drs. Brown and Goldstein have received many awards for this work, including the U.S. National Medal of Science and the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology. Dr. Brown is also a member of the Board of Directors of Pfizer, Inc., and is Chairman of its Science and Technology Committee. He received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, served a residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Earl Stadtman at the National Institutes of Health.

Joel K. Elmquist, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Director, Center for Hypothalamic Research, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Joel K. Elmquist, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Holder of the:

  • Maclin Family Distinguished Professorship in Medical Science, in Honor of Dr. Roy A. Brinkley
  • Carl H. Westcott Distinguished Chair in Medical Research

Joel K. Elmquist, D.V.M., Ph.D., is director of the Hypothalamic Research Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center, which investigates the causes of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Since 2006, Dr. Elmquist has been a Professor of Internal Medicine, Pharmacology, and Psychiatry, and the Director of the Division of Hypothalamic Research at UT Southwestern. Research at the Elmquist Lab focuses on the functional neuroanatomy of the mammalian hypothalamus. He has been invited to speak at meetings and symposia all over the United States and internationally in more than a dozen countries. In 2008, he received the Oppenheimer Award in recognition of meritorious accomplishments in the field of basic or clinical endocrinology. He received his doctorate in veterinary medicine and his Ph.D. in anatomy and neuroscience from Iowa State University, then spent 12 years at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, first as a postdoctoral fellow and eventually as Associate Professor.

Scott M. Grundy, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Center for Human Nutrition, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Scott M. Grundy, M.D., Ph.D.

Holder of the:

  • Distinguished Chair in Human Nutrition

Scott M. Grundy, M.D., Ph.D., is Director of the Center for Human Nutrition, where he leads research in three areas: disease causation, disease prevention, and treatment of disease. The Center and Dr. Grundy also aim to promote nutrition education throughout UT Southwestern Medical Center and the community. For more than 40 years, Dr. Grundy has studied cholesterol and lipoprotein metabolism, including the development of methods for measuring cholesterol balance and biliary lipid secretion; defining effects of saturated and unsaturated fats on cholesterol and lipoprotein metabolism; uncovering genetic defects underlying elevated blood cholesterol; identifying metabolic defects of elevated blood cholesterol, high triglycerides, and low HDL (the good cholesterol); and defining mechanisms of action of several lipid-lowering drugs, notably fibrates and statins. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the recipient of numerous awards from the American Heart Association. Dr. Grundy received his medical degree from Baylor University and his doctorate from the Rockefeller University.

Joachim Herz, M.D.

Director, Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics
Joachim Herz, M.D.

Holder of the:

  • Thomas O. and Cinda Hicks Family Distinguished Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research

Joachim Herz, M.D., joined the UT Southwestern Medical Center Department of Molecular Genetics in 1989. Noted for his groundbreaking research into how a mutation in a single protein triggers the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Herz was named Director of the Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases. Tirelessly dedicated, Dr. Herz participated in the 2010 Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Ride, cycling from Dallas to Oklahoma City in 100-degree weather to raise awareness and promote federal funding for research. Born in Southern Germany, Dr. Herz graduated from medical school at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, training as a resident in surgery in Germany and England. He has been honored for his numerous contributions to research related to lipid and cholesterol regulation, receiving the prestigious Heinrich Wieland Prize for Excellence in Lipid Research and the Wolfgang Paul Award of the Humboldt Society of Germany and the Ministry of Education of Germany. 

Joseph A. Hill, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Harry S. Moss Heart Center, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Joseph A. Hill, M.D., Ph.D.

Holder of the:

  • James T. Willerson, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Frank M. Ryburn, Jr. Chair in Heart Research

Joseph A. Hill, M.D., Ph.D., is Director of the Harry S. Moss Heart Center, an interdisciplinary research program related to cardiovascular diseases. He also serves as Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology and Chief of Cardiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. A Fellow of the American Heart Association (AHA), Dr. Hill has served as President of both the Association of Professors of Cardiology and the Association of University Cardiologists. The author of more than a hundred peer-reviewed articles, he has received grant support from, among others, the AHA, the American Diabetes Association, and the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). He came to UT Southwestern in 2002 after time as a fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris; as an intern and resident at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School; and at the University of Iowa. He earned both his M.D. and Ph.D. in pharmacology from Duke University.

Helen Hobbs, M.D.

Director, Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Helen Hobbs, M.D.

Holder of the:

  • 1995 Dallas Heart Ball Chair in Cardiology Research
  • Eugene McDermott Distinguished Chair for the Study of Human Growth and Development
  • Philip O’Bryan Montgomery Jr., M.D., Distinguished Chair in Developmental Biology

Helen Hobbs, M.D., was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007. In addition to her role as Chief of Clinical Genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, she is Director of both the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development and the Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center. Noted for discovering new genes and gene variations that explain individual differences in blood levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol), Dr. Hobbs has been awarded the American Heart Association Clinical Research Prize, the international Heinrich Wieland Prize for metabolism research, and the 2007 American Heart Association Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Hobbs’ research support has come from, among others, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Hobbs earned her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, completed an internship in internal medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, then moved to UT Southwestern, where she completed her clinical training and served as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital.  

W. Lee Kraus, Ph.D.

Director, Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences, and Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
W. Lee Kraus, Ph.D.

Holder of the:

  • Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Reproductive Biology Sciences

W. Lee Kraus, Ph.D., is the Director of the Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences, which for more than 30 years has promoted integrative and collaborative research in female reproductive biology, with a focus on signaling, gene regulation, and genome function. Research in Dr. Kraus’s laboratory is aimed at understanding how small-molecule signals alter the activity of factors that modulate chromatin structure to control gene expression, with particular emphasis on how these signaling pathways relate to human physiology (e.g., reproduction, metabolism, and cellular differentiation and development) and disease states. Dr. Kraus, a recipient of the Richard E. Weitzman Memorial Award from the Endocrine Society, holds a doctorate in physiology and biophysics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biology at the University of California, San Diego.

John D. Minna, M.D.

Director, Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
John D. Minna, M.D.

Holder of the:

  • Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research
  • Max L. Thomas Distinguished Chair in Molecular Pulmonary Oncology

As Director of the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research and the W.A. "Tex" and Deborah Moncrief Jr. Center for Cancer Genetics, John D. Minna, M.D., leads a team that unites the health science disciplines in the lab and the clinic with the goal of developing and implementing new methods of prevention, detection, and treatment of the various types of cancer. Dr. Minna, who is also a Professor of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology, focuses his research on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of common human cancers, such as lung and breast cancer. Dr. Minna has received the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Award for Lifetime Scientific Achievement and was named an ASCO Statesman for his volunteer contributions to the organization. A graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Minna spent time at both the National Cancer Institute and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, before joining the faculty at UT Southwestern Medical Center in 1991.

Orson W. Moe, M.D.

Director, Charles and Jane Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Orson W. Moe, M.D.

Holder of the:

  • Charles Pak Distinguished Chair in Mineral Metabolism
  • Donald W. Seldin Professorship in Clinical Investigation

As the Director of the Charles and Jane Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research, Orson W. Moe, M.D., leads basic science and patient-oriented research to identify and implement new knowledge of mineral metabolism and its disorders, as well as provide exceptional care for people with kidney diseases and disorders of mineral metabolism. From the cell level to the whole patient, Dr. Moe’s personal research is centered on renal physiology, metabolism, and epithelial biology and the pathophysiology of nephrolithiasis. The co-editor of Seldin and Giebisch’s The Kidney: Physiology and Pathophysiology, Dr. Moe received his medical degree and completed his residency at the University of Toronto, followed by a fellowship in nephrology, also at the University of Toronto. Following a fellowship in renal physiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Moe joined the faculty in 1990 as an Assistant Professor, with a joint appointment as a staff physician at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He is currently a Professor in both the Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Physiology.

Carl Noe, M.D.

Director, Eugene McDermott Center for Pain Management, and Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management
Carl Noe, M.D.

Carl Noe, M.D., is a member of the Anesthesiology and Pain Management faculty, and is the Director of the Eugene McDermott Center for Pain Management, which offers a full range of clinical treatment to sufferers of chronic pain, and also conducts National Institutes of Health-sponsored research on back pain, as well as comparisons of traditional and alternative therapies. An instructor and examiner with the World Institute of Pain, Dr. Noe has received certification as a Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice, certification by The American Board of Anesthesiology, and subspecialty certification by the ABA in critical care medicine and pain management. Dr. Noe, who earned his M.D. from the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, completed his internship and residency training at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, cardiovascular anesthesia and critical care fellowship training at Stanford University, and a pain management fellowship at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, where he served on the Board of Regents from 1993 to 1999.

Rama Ranganathan, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Cecil H. and Ida Green Comprehensive Center for Molecular, Computational and Systems Biology, and Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Rama Ranganathan, M.D., Ph.D.

Holder of the:

  • Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Chair in Biomedical Science

Rama Ranganathan, M.D., Ph.D., serves as Director of the Cecil H. and Ida Green Comprehensive Center for Computational and Systems Biology, where experts across the scientific disciplines integrate computational science and advanced imaging technologies to create models of biological systems that consider individual cell parts, as well as their interaction with each other and their environment. Dr. Ranganathan’s own research regarding protein evolution, creation, and function allowed him to develop computer-designed artificial proteins that function identically to their natural counterparts. A recipient of the 2009 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas, Dr. Ranganathan received his medical degree and his doctorate in biology from the University of California, San Diego. He completed fellowships in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and in structural biology at The Salk Institute.

Philipp Scherer, Ph.D.

Director, Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Philipp Scherer, Ph.D.

Holder of the:

  • Gifford O. Touchstone, Jr. and Randolph G. Touchstone Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research

Philipp Scherer, Ph.D., is currently Director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center, which is devoted to the study of cells and tissues that play a role in diabetes and its co-morbidities. Current efforts in the Scherer laboratory are focused on the identification and physiological characterization of novel proteins that serve as potential links between the adipocyte, liver, the pancreatic beta cell, and the processes of whole body energy homeostasis, inflammation, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, thereby identifying novel targets for pharmacological intervention and further defining the role of adipose tissue as an endocrine tissue. Dr. Scherer received his Ph.D. from the University of Basel, Switzerland, working on mitochondrial biogenesis, followed by postdoctoral training at the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center, he was a Professor for Cell Biology and Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

A. Dean Sherry, Ph.D.

Director, Advanced Imaging Research Center, and Professor, Department of Radiology
A. Dean Sherry, Ph.D.

Holder of the:

  • Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Systems Biology (UT Dallas)

A. Dean Sherry, Ph.D., serves as the Director of the Advanced Imaging Research Center (AIRC), a collaborative effort of UT Southwestern Medical Center and other North Texas institutions, to further the efforts of imaging and translational research. Dr. Sherry’s own interests coincide with that of the AIRC, including the development of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and other physical methods to provide insight into metabolic flux, as well as the development of new molecular imaging agents that respond to physiology or metabolism. Dr. Sherry is jointly appointed as a Professor of Chemistry at UT Dallas, where he holds the Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Systems Biology, and the scientific founder of Macrocyclics, Inc., a leading manufacturer of customized chelating agents. He earned his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Kansas State University and was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at New Mexico State University.

James K.V. Willson, M.D.

Director, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
James K.V. Willson, M.D.

Holder of the:

  • Lisa K. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Comprehensive Oncology

In 2004, James K.V. Willson, M.D., was named Director of the UT Southwestern Medical Center Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the premier centers in the nation for the study and treatment of cancer and the only NCI-designated cancer center in North Texas, offering a broad-based collection of cancer programs. Dr. Willson serves as Associate Dean for Cancer Programs at UT Southwestern, following a decade as Director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University, and University Hospitals of Cleveland. Dr. Willson received his M.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, training in medicine on the Osler Medical Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and in medical oncology in the Medicine Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He currently serves on the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors.