Three UT Southwestern faculty members to receive
American Heart Association's Distinguished Scientist honor

DALLAS – Sept. 25, 2003 – Three scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas are to receive the American Heart Association’s newly created Distinguished Scientist title, the highest designation of membership given by the organization.

Dr. Eric Olson and Nobel laureates Drs. Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein are among only 15 scientists nationwide selected to receive the honor. The researchers will be recognized as Founding Distinguished Scientists at the AHA’s Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 13.

Dr. James T. Willerson, president of the UT Health Science Center at Houston, was the only other Texan selected as a Distinguished Scientist.

Drs. Brown, Goldstein and Olson – all members of the National Academy of Sciences – were recognized for their contributions in advancing the understanding and management of cardiovascular disease.

Drs. Brown and Goldstein shared the 1985 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their discovery of the underlying mechanisms of cholesterol metabolism. The groundbreaking research led to the development of statins – now used by 13 million Americans – to treat high cholesterol.

Dr. Brown is professor of molecular genetics and internal medicine and director of UT Southwestern’s Erik Jonsson Center for Research in Molecular Genetics and Human Disease. Dr. Goldstein is chairman of molecular genetics.

Dr. Olson, chairman of molecular biology at UT Southwestern and director of the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Basic Research in Cancer and the Nearburg Family Center for Basic Research in Pediatric Oncology, is internationally recognized for his research into the genetic mechanisms of skeletal, cardiac and smooth-muscle cell proliferation and differentiation. Dr. Olson’s research has led to a clearer understanding of congenital heart defects as well as novel strategies for the treatment of heart enlargement and heart failure.

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Media Contact: Amy Shields
214-648-3404
or e-mail: amy.shields@utsouthwestern.edu

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