There are two types of centers at UT Southwestern:
- Autonomous Centers
- Autonomous Centers function as the equivalent to a department and have the authority to appoint faculty. All faculty appointed in an autonomous center must also have an appointment in an academic department.
- Departmentally Based Centers
- Departmentally based centers are organizationally located within the departments noted.
Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D.
Director, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, Associate Dean for Oncology Programs
- The Lisa K. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Comprehensive Oncology
Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D., a devoted cancer researcher and clinician, was named Director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center in September 2017. He also serves as Associate Dean of Oncology Programs. Dr. Arteaga is internationally recognized for his work in laboratory-based translational research and advancing the care of breast cancer patients. The majority of Dr. Arteaga’s career has been as a physician-scientist in Medical Oncology at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center of Vanderbilt University, where he served as Associate Director for Translational/Clinical Research and Director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies. At Vanderbilt, he also led a successful translational research program that includes a National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health SPORE award in breast cancer. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He has earned numerous accolades from the American Cancer Society, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. A former President of the AACR, he serves on the boards of advisors of several cancer centers and breast cancer programs. Dr. Arteaga earned his medical degree from Facultad de Ciencias Médicas at the Universidad de Guayaquil in Ecuador. He trained in Internal Medicine at Emory University and in Medical Oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Bruce Beutler, M.D.
Director, Center for the Genetics of Host Defense, and Professor, Department of Immunology
Holder of the:
- Regental Professor
- Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, in Honor of Laverne and Raymond Willie, Sr.
Bruce Beutler, M.D., serves as Director of the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense and on the faculty of the Department of Immunology. He is known for his work in unlocking the secret of how the body detects infection and launches an inflammatory response. His research on mice converged with French scientist Dr. Jules Hoffmann’s studies in flies, and they shared half of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on innate immunity. Dr. Beutler was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) in 2008, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in 2013. Dr. Beutler, who started his scientific career at UT Southwestern as an internal medicine intern and neurology resident, served as a faculty member from 1986 to 2000 and was an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at UT Southwestern during those years. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of California, San Diego, and earned his medical degree from the University of Chicago. After postgraduate training at UT Southwestern, he completed a two-year fellowship at Rockefeller University.
Marc Diamond, M.D.
Director, Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics
Holder of the:
- Distinguished Chair in Basic Brain Injury and Repair
Marc Diamond, M.D., is the founding Director of the Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases. The Center is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of investigators focused on understanding the basis of progressive protein aggregation in human disease. Dr. Diamond, also a Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, completed an internship, residency, and chief residency in neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). After a postdoctoral fellowship, he spent eight years as a faculty member in the neurology department at UCSF. Dr. Diamond served as the David Clayson Professor of Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis before being recruited to UT Southwestern in 2014. His research focuses on molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, with the goal of developing novel therapies and diagnostic tools. A therapeutic antibody he co-developed at Washington University in St. Louis is now entering clinical trials for treatment of dementia.
Helen Hobbs, M.D.
Director, Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
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.
Jay Horton, M.D.
Director, Center for Human Nutrition, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Holder of the:
- The Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Chair in Obesity & Diabetes Research
- Center for Human Nutrition Director's Endowed Chair
- Distinguished Chair in Human Nutrition
- Scott Grundy Director's Chair
Jay Horton, M.D., an internationally acclaimed physician and scientist, was named Director of the Center for Human Nutrition in June 2015. He also is Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics, as well as Chief of the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases. In their research, he and the Center for Human Nutrition are helping to understand abnormal metabolism and the contributions of nutrition and genetics in humans. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Horton’s work has provided the foundation for a new class of agents approved by the FDA for lowering serum cholesterol levels. A UT Southwestern faculty member since 1988, Dr. Horton earned his medical degree from University of Iowa in 1977. He came to UT Southwestern for his residency in internal medicine subsequently completing a fellowship in gastroenterology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellowship in molecular genetics.
John D. Minna, M.D.
Director, Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
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.
Sean Morrison, Ph.D.
Director, Children's Research Institute at UT Southwestern, and Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Holder of the:
- Kathryne and Gene Bishop Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Research at Children's Research Institute at UT Southwestern
- Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics
Sean J. Morrison, Ph.D., is founding Director of the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, Professor of Pediatrics, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research. Dr. Morrison’s laboratory at CRI studies the mechanisms that regulate stem cell self-renewal and stem cell aging, as well as the role these mechanisms play in cancer. Dr. Morrison obtained his bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, then completed a Ph.D. in immunology at Stanford University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in neurobiology at the California Institute of Technology. From 1999 to 2011, he was on faculty at the University of Michigan; he served as director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology from 2005 to 2011, when he was recruited to UT Southwestern.
Eric N. Olson, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular Biology, and Director, Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine
Holder of the:
- Annie and Willie Nelson Professorship in Stem Cell Research
- Pogue Distinguished Chair in Research on Cardiac Birth Defects
- Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Science
The pioneering work of Eric N. Olson, Ph.D., regarded as a major step in finding genetic targets for the treatment of congenital heart defects and adult heart disease, has illuminated the fundamental principles of organ formation and has demonstrated that many of the genes that control heart formation are called into play in the adult heart under pathological stress. Most recently, Dr. Olson has turned his attention to microRNAs, which are recognized to activate cell functions. He is a recipient of the Institut de France Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation Grand Prize and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Olson serves as the Director of the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine, and as a consultant to miRagen Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that he co-founded. He received his doctorate in biochemistry from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University.
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
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 Molecular, 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.
A. Dean Sherry, Ph.D.
Director, Advanced Imaging Research Center, and Professor, Department of Radiology
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.
H. Hunt Batjer, M.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Neurological Surgery, and Co-Director, Mobility Foundation Center for Rehabilitation Research
Holder of the:
- Lois C.A. and Darwin E. Smith Distinguished Chair in Neurological Surgery
H. Hunt Batjer, M.D., FACS, a renowned neurosurgeon and educator with expertise in cerebrovascular diseases, was named Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center effective September 2012. Raised in San Angelo, Texas, Dr. Batjer received his medical and surgical training at UTSW and served on the faculty here until 1995, when he left to become the first Chair of Neurological Surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He returned to UTSW in 2012 after 17 years at Northwestern. An author of eight books and nearly 350 papers, Dr. Batjer’s research focuses on neurovascular disease, head trauma, and surgical education. He is currently President of the Neurosurgical Society of America, co-chairs the NFL’s Head, Neck, and Spine Committee, and serves as Chair of the ACGME Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery. He is a Director-at-Large for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
Kathleen R. Bell, M.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Co-Director, Mobility Foundation Center for Rehabilitation Research
Holder of the:
- Kimberly-Clark Distinguished Chair in Mobility Research
Kathleen R. Bell, M.D., a nationally recognized leader in rehabilitation medicine, joined UT Southwestern in September 2014 as Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Bell is co-director of the Mobility Foundation Center for Rehabilitation Research. She also is a leading investigator in the Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair initiative that is developing world-class academic and clinical programs in traumatic brain injury. In addition, she manages the clinical operations of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at Zale Lipshy University Hospital. Dr. Bell joined UT Southwestern from University of Washington, where she was a faculty member since 1985 and a Professor since 2005. She was Medical Director of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program and Chief of Clinical Services in Rehabilitation Medicine. She served as principal investigator on the University of Washington Traumatic Brain Injury Model System and on studies of different approaches to detect and manage complications of traumatic brain injury in civilians and veterans.
Michael S. Brown, M.D.
Director, Erik Jonsson Center for Research in Molecular Genetics and Human Disease, and Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics
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
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.
Joachim Herz, M.D.
Director, Center for Translational Neurodegeneration Research, and Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics
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 Translational Neurodegeneration Research. 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
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 100 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.
W. Lee Kraus, Ph.D.
Director, Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences, and Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
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.
Beth Levine, M.D.
Director, Center for Autophagy Research, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Holder of the:
- Charles Cameron Sprague Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science
Beth Levine, M.D., is founding Director of the Center for Autophagy Research. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, Dr. Levine’s research explores a cellular process called autophagy, in which cells devour their own damaged or unneeded components. Her laboratory identified the first known gene in mammals that is responsible for autophagy. Her research has since shown that defects in the expression or function of this specific gene, called beclin 1, may contribute to cancer, aging, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and infectious diseases. Dr. Levine received her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. She completed her residency at Mount Sinai Hospital, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She joined the UT Southwestern faculty in July 2004.
Christopher Madden, M.D.
Associate Vice President and Clinical Director, Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute and Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Christopher Madden, M.D., serves as Director of UT Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute, and is a Professor of Neurological Surgery. Prior to his current role, Dr. Madden was Associate Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Parkland Health & Hospital System Affairs. He completed his residency at Ohio State University and a fellowship in skull base surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, England. He earned his medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Dr. Madden has been honored by Best Doctors, Inc. and D Magazine as one of the best neurosurgeons in the nation and city, respectively. He is a former president of the Texas Association of Neurological Surgeons.
Orson W. Moe, M.D.
Director, Charles and Jane Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
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., 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.
Philipp Scherer, Ph.D.
Director, Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
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.