Michael Stuart Brown (b. April 13, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American geneticist and Nobel Laureate. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Joseph L. Goldstein in 1985 for describing the regulation of cholesterol metabolism.
Graduated from Cheltenham High School (Wyncote, PA). Brown graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962 and received his M.D. from Penn medical school in 1966. Moving to the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas, now the UT Southwestern Medical Center, Brown and colleague Joseph L. Goldstein researched cholesterol metabolism and discovered that human cells have low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors that extract cholesterol from the bloodstream. The lack of sufficient LDL receptors is implicated in familial hypercholesterolemia, which predisposes heavily for cholesterol-related diseases. In addition to explaining the underlying pathology of this disease, their work uncovered a fundamental aspect of cell biology - Receptor-mediated endocytosis.
Their findings led to the development of statin drugs, the cholesterol-lowering compounds that today are used by 16 million Americans and are the most widely prescribed medications in the United States. Their discoveries are improving more lives every year, both in the United States and around the world. New federal cholesterol guidelines will triple the number of Americans taking statin drugs to lower their cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke for countless people. Following these important advances, their team of dedicated researchers elucidated the role of lipid modification of proteins (protein prenylation) in cancer. In 1984 he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University together with Joseph L. Goldstein (Co-recipient of 1985 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine).In 1988, Brown received National Medal of Science for his contributions to the world of Medicine.