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Faculty Profile

Jan-Ake GustafssonJan-Ake Gustafsson

Robert A. Welch Professor
Department of Biology and Biochemistry
Research Division:
Cell and Molecular Biology (Primary)

Office: Science & Engineering Research Center, 3027
Contact: jgustafsson@uh.edu - (832) 842-8803

Education: M.D., Ph.D, Dept. of Chemistry, Karolinska Institute


Definition of steroid hormone receptors/nuclear receptors as transcription factors and the functions of their various domains, and discoveries of new receptors and ligands that have changed the field.

Jan-Åke Gustafsson is a leading scientist within the field of steroid hormone receptors/nuclear receptors. Several of his achievements have lead to true paradigm shifts in the field and represent breakthrough discoveries. He was first to show that a nuclear receptor, the glucocorticoid receptor, is composed of three separate structural and functional domains, a ligand binding domain, a DNA binding domain and a third domain identified by Gustafsson and coworkers by its immunogenic properties. Furthermore, the Gustafsson lab was first to purify a nuclear receptor, the glucocorticoid receptor, to homogeneity and thereby to show that it represents a single molecular species rather than a complex of multiple smaller subunits. At the time, this was an especially important finding since the literature was muddled with misconcepts based on impure and/or partially proteolyzed receptor preparations. Also, access to homogeneous nuclear receptor made it possible for Gustafsson to demonstrate specific DNA binding of glucocorticoid receptor to a glucocorticoid sensitive gene, the murine mammary tumour virus. This theretofore impossible achievement spurred a new, mechanistic era in nuclear receptor research, since in follow-up studies, Gustafsson et al could show that the specific glucocorticoid binding sites also represent glucocorticoid response elements, able to confer hormone responsiveness onto nearby genes. It is essential to point out that all of the above, absolutely central discoveries were made prior to cloning of nuclear receptors.

Furthermore, Gustafsson et al cloned the first (partial) cDNA of a nuclear receptor, the glucocorticoid receptor; the unique probes making this possible were the poly- and monoclonal antibodies against the glucocorticoid receptor developed by the Gustafsson lab. Another important milestone was the structure determination of the DNA-binding domain of the glucocorticoid receptor, the first ever nuclear receptor structure to be solved. During the recent fifteen years, Gustafsson has continued to be responsible for paradigm shifts in the field of nuclear receptor research. It was Gustafsson who first identified physiological ligands for a so called “orphan receptor”, namely fatty acids for the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR), thereby integrating fatty acids into molecular endocrinology. Furthermore, Gustafsson discovered OR-1, later renamed LXRβ, an oxysterol activated nuclear receptor of paramount significance in e g regulation of cholesterol homeostasis and brain development.

Finally, and most importantly, Gustafsson and colleagues made the completely unexpected discovery of estrogen receptor β, a second estrogen receptor which has turned out to have functions far outside reproductive physiology and to be a very promising target in pharmaceutical development of novel drugs.

  • Y.-B. Dai, Y.-F. Miao, W.-F. Wu, Y. Li, F. D’Errico, W. Su, A. R. Burns, B. Huang, L. Maneix, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Ablation of Liver X receptors alpha and beta leads to spontaneous peripheral squamous cell lung cancer in mice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., in press, 2016. DISCOVERY THAT DELETION OF LXRα AND LXRβ LEADS TO SQUAMOUS CELL LUNG CANCER
  • Y. Dai, W. Wu, B. Huang, Y.-F. Miao, S. Nardashina, M. Warner and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Liver X Receptors regulate cerebrospinal fluid production. Mol. Psychiatry, E-published, 1-13, 2015. DISCOVERY THAT LXRs REGULATE CSF PRODUCTION
  • P. Dey, L.A. Velazquez-Villegas, M. Faria, A. Turner, P. Jonsson, P. Webb, C. Williams, J.-Å. Gustafsson and A. Ström: Estrogen receptor β induces hypoxia signature of gene expression by stabilizing HIF-1α in prostate cancer. PLos ONE, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0128239, published online May 26, 2015. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ2 STABILIZES HIF1α IN PROSTATE CANCER
  • L. Maneix, P. Antonson, P. Humire, S. Rochel-Maia, J. Castañeda, Y. Omoto, H.-J. Kim, M. Warner and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Estrogen receptor β exon 3-deleted mouse: The importance of non-ERE pathways in ERβ signaling. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 112, 5135-5140, 2015. DISCOVERY OF THE IMPORTANCE OF NON-ERE PATHWAYS IN ERβ ACTION
  • G. Rajapaksa, F. Nikolos, I. Bado, R. Clarke, J.-Å. Gustafsson and C. Thomas: ERβ decreases breast cancer cell survival by regulating the IRE1/XBP-1 pathway. Oncogene, 34, 4130-4141, 2015. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ DECREASES BREAST CANCER CELL SURVIVAL THROUGH THE IRE1/XBP-1 PATHWAY
  • N.R. Candelaria, S. Addanki, J. Zheng, T. Nguyen-Vu, H. Karaboga, P. Dey, C. Gabbi, L.-L. Vedin, K. Liu, W. Wu, P.K. Jonsson, J.Z. Lin, F. Su, S.E. Hodges, A.L. McElhany, M.A. Issazadeh, W.E. Fisher, M.M. Ittman, K.R. Steffensen, J.-Å. Gustafsson and C.-Y. Lin: Antiproliferative effects and mechanisms of Liver X Receptor Ligands in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells. PLOS ONE, 9, e106289, 2014 DISCOVERY THAT LXR LIGANDS ARE ANTIPROLIFERATIVE IN PANCREATIC ADENOCARCINOMA CELLS
  • P. Xu, H. Xu, X. Tang, L. Xu, Y. Wang, L. Guo, Z. Yang, Y. Xing, Y. Wu, M. Warner, J.-Å. Gustafsson and X. Fan: Liver X receptor β is essential for the differentiation of radial glial cells to oligodendrocytes in the dorsal cortex. Mol. Psychiatry, 19, 947-957, 2014. DISCOVERY THAT LXRβ REGULATES DIFFERENTIATION OF RADIAL GLIAL CELLS TO OLIGODENDROCYTES IN THE DORSAL CORTEX
  • X. Lou, G. Toresson, C. Benod, J.H. Suh, K.J. Philips, P. Webb and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Structure of the retinoid X receptor α liver X receptor β heterodimer on DNA. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 21, 277-282, 2014. DISCOVERY OF THE 3-D STRUCTURE OF THE RXRα-LXRβ HETERODIMER
  • B. Huang, Y. Omoto, H. Iwase, H. Yamashita, T.Toyama, R.C. Coombes, A. Filipovic, M. Warner and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Differential expression of estrogen receptor alpha, beta 1 and beta 2 in lobular and ductal breast cancer. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 111, 1933-1938, 2014 DISCOVERY THAT DIFFERENT BREAST CANCERS EXPRESS DIFFERENT ER ISOFORMS
  • P. Dey, A. Ström and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Estrogen receptor β upregulates FOXO3a and causes induction of apoptosis through PUMA in prostate cancer. Oncogene, 33, 4213-4225, 2014. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ UPREGULATES FOXO3a AND INDUCES APOPTOSIS THROUGH PUMA IN PROSTATE CANCER
  • W.-F. Wu, X.-J. Tan, Y.-B. Dai, Venkatesh Krishnan, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Targeting ERβ in microglia and T cells to treat experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 110, 3543-3548, 2013 DISCOVERY THAT ERβ IS ANTIINFLAMMATORY IN MICROGLIA AND T CELLS IN A MODEL OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
  • P. Alonso-Magdalena, A. B. Ropero, M. Garcia-Arevalo, S. Soriano, I. Quesada, S. J. Muhammed, A. Salehi, J.-Å. Gustafsson and A. Nadal: Antidiabetic actions of an ERβ selective agonist. Diabetes, 62, 2015-2025, 2013. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ IS ANTIDIABETIC
  • P. Dey, P. Jonsson, J. Hartman, C. Williams, A. Ström and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Estrogen receptors β1 and β2 have opposing roles in regulating proliferation and bone metastasis genes in the prostate cancer cell line PC3. Mol. Endocrinol., 26, 1991-2003, 2012 DISCOVERY THAT ERβ1 AND ERβ2 HAVE OPPOSITE ROLES IN REGULATING PROLIFERATION OF PC3 PROSTATE CANCER CELLS
  • Y.-B. Dai, X.-J. Tan, W.-F. Wu, M. Warner and J.-Å. Gustafsson: MPTP hypersensitivity in Liver X Receptor β knockout mice and neuroprotection of WT mice by Liver X Receptor agonist. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 107, 13112-13117, 2012. DISCOVERY THAT LXRβ PROTECTS AGAINST PARKINSON
  • H. Suzuki, R.P.A. Barros, N. Sugiyama, V. Krishnan, B.C. Yaden, H.-J. Kim, M. Warner and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Involvement of estrogen receptor β in maintenance of serotonergic neurons of the dorsal raphe. Mol. Psychiatry, 18, 674-680, 2013. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ IS INVOLVED IN MAINTENANCE OF SEROTONERGIC NEURONS IN THE BRAIN
  • X.-J. Tan, Y.-B. Dai, H.-J. Kim, R.P. Barros, T. I. Richardson, B.C. Yaden, M. Warner, D.L. McKinzie, V. Krishnan and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Reduction of dendritic spines and elevation of GABAergic signaling in the brains of mice treated with an estrogen receptor β ligand. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 1708-1712, 2012. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ REDUCERAR DENDRTISKA UTSKOTT OCH OKAR GABA-ERGIC SIGNALERING I HJARNAN
  • K. Lindberg, L.A. Helguero, Y. Omoto, J.-Å. Gustafsson, and L.-A. Haldosén: Estrogen receptor β represses AKT signaling in breast cancer cells via downregulation of HER2/HER3 and upregulation of PTEN – implications for tamoxifen sensitivity. Breast Cancer Res., 13, R43, 1-13, 2011. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ UPREGULATES PTEN IN BREAST CANCER CELLS
  • M. Korach-André, A. Archer, R. Barros, P. Parini and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Both LXR isoforms control energy expenditure by regulating BAT activity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 108, 403-408, 2011. DISCOVERY THAT BOTH LXRα AND LXRβ REGULATES BROWN ADIPOSE TISSUE
  • X.-J. Tan, X.-T. Fan, H.-J. Kim, R. Butler, P. Webb, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Liver X receptor β and thyroid hormone receptor α in brain cortical layering. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 107, 12305-12310, 2010. DISCOVERY THAT LXRβ AND TRα REGULATES BRAIN CORTICAL LAYERING
  • X. Fan, C. Gabbi, H.-J. Kim, G. Cheng, L. C. Andersson, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Gonadotropin-positive pituitary tumors accompanied by ovarian tumors in aging female ERβ-/- mice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 107, 6453-6458, 2010. DISCOVERY THAT DELETION OF ERβ LEADS TO PITUITARY AND OVARIAN TUMORS
  • P. Sacchetti, K. M. Sousa, A. C. Hall, I. Liste, K. R. Steffensen, S. Theofilopoulos, C. L. Parish, C. Hazenberg, L. Ährlund Richter, O. Hovatta, J.-Å. Gustafsson and E. Arenas: Liver X receptors and oxysterols promote ventral midbrain neurogenesis in vivo and in human embryonic stem cells. Cell Stem Cell, 5, 409-419, 2009. DISCOVERY THAT LXR PROMOTES VENTRAL MIDBRAIN NEUROGENESIS IN VIVO
  • J. Hartman, K. Edvardsson, K. Lindberg, C. Zhao, C. Williams, A. Ström and J-Å. Gustafsson: Tumor repressive functions of estrogen receptor β in SW480 colon cancer cells. Cancer Res., 15, 6100-6106, 2009. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ REPRESSES GROWTH OF SW480 COLON CANCER CELLS
  • C. Gabbi, H.-J. Kim, K. Hultenby, D. Bouton, G. Toresson, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency in LXRβ-/- mice is associated with a reduction in aquaporin-1 expression. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 105, 15052-15057, 2008. DISCOVERY THAT DELETION OF LXRβ LEADS TO REDUCTION OF AQUAPORIN EXPRESSION
  • I. Meltser, Y. Tahera, E. Simpson, M. Hultcrantz, K. Charitidi, J.-Å. Gustafsson, and B. Canlon: Estrogen receptor β protects against acoustic trauma in mice. J. Clin. Investigation, 118, 1563-1570, 2008. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ PROTECTS AGAINST ACOUSTIC TRAUMA
  • Y. Liu, H. Gao, T. T. Marstrand, A. Ström, E. Valen, A. Sandelin, J.-Å. Gustafsson, and K. Dahlman-Wright: The genome landscape of ERα- and ERβ-binding DNA regions. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 105, 2604-2609, 2008. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ ASSOCIATES WITH AP-1 WHEN BINDING TO DNA
  • H.-J. Kim, X. Fan, C. Gabbi, K. Yakimchuk, P. Parini, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Liver X receptor β (LXRβ): A link between β-sitosterol and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-Parkinson’s dementia. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 105, 2094-2099, 2008. DISCOVERY THAT DELETION OF LXRβ LEADS TO ALS-PARKINSON’S DEMENTIA
  • O. Imamov, K. Yakimchuk, A. Morani, T. Schwend, O. Wada-Hiraike, S. Razumov, M. Warner and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Estrogen receptor β deficient female mice develop a bladder phenotype resembling human interstitial cystitis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104, 9806-9809, 2007. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ DEFICIENCY LEADS TO INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS
  • X. Fan, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Estrogen receptor β expression in the embryonic brain regulates development of calretinin-immunoreactive GABAergic interneurons. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 103, 19338-19343, 2006. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ REGULATES GABA-ERGIC INTERNEURONS IN THE EMBRYONIC BRAIN
  • O. Wada-Hiraike, H. Hiraike, H. Okinaga, O. Imamov, R. P. A. Barros, A. Morani, Y. Omoto, M. Warner and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Role of estrogen receptor β in uterine stroma and epithelium: Insights from estrogen receptor β-/- mice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 103, 18350-18355, 2006. DISCOVRY THAT ERβ IS IMPORTANT FOR THE FUNCTION OF THE UTERUS
  • O. Wada-Hiraike, O. Imamov, H. Hiraike, K. Hultenby, T. Schwend, Y. Omoto, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Role of estrogen receptor β in colonic epithelium. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 103, 2959-2964, 2006. DISCOVERY THAT ERβ IS IMPORTANT FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THE COLONIC EPITHELIUM
  • S. Andersson, N. Gustafsson, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Inactivation of liver X receptor β leads to adult-onset motor neuron degeneration in male mice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 102, 3857-3862, 2005. DISCOVERY THAT DELETION OF LXRβ LEADS TO ADULT-ONSET MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION IN MALE MICE
  • G.-J. Shim, M. Warner, H.-J. Kim, S. Andersson, L. Liu, J. Ekman, O. Imamov, M. E. Jones, E. R. Simpson, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Aromatase-deficient mice spontaneously develop a lymphoproliferative autoimmune disease resembling Sjögren’s syndrome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 101, 12628-12633, 2004. DISCOVERY THAT AROMATASE DEFICIENCY LEADS TO SJOGREN’S SYNDROME
  • A. Ström, J. Hartman, J.S. Foster, S. Kietz, J. Wimalasena, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Estrogen receptor β inhibits 17β-estradiol-stimulated proliferation of the breast cancer cell line T47D. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 101, 1566-1571, 2004. DISCOVERY OF A SUPPRESSIVE ROLE OF ERβ OF PROLIFERATION OF BREAST CANCER CELLS
  • G.J. Shim, L. Wang, S. Andersson, N. Nagy, L. Levente Kis, Q. Zhang, S. Mäkelä, M. Warner and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Disruption of the estrogen receptor beta gene in mice causes myeloproliferative disease resembling chronic myeloid leukemia with lymphoid blast crisis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 100, 6694-6699, 2003. DISCOVERY THAT DELETION OF ERβ LEADS TO CHRONIC MYELOID LEUKEMIA
  • M. K. Lindberg, S. Movérare, S. Skrtic, H. Gao, K. Dahlman-Wright, J.-Å. Gustafsson, and C. Ohlsson: Estrogen receptor (ER)-βreduces ERα-regulated gene transcription, supporting a “ying yang” relationship between ERβ and ERα in mice. Mol. Endocrinol. 17, 203-208, 2003. DISCOVERY OF A SUPPRESSIVE ROLE OF ERβ OVER ERα ACTION
  • L. Wang, S. Andersson, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Estrogen receptor (ER)β knockout mice reveal a role for ERβ in migration of cortical neurons in the developing brain. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 100, 703-708, 2003. DISCOVERY OF A ROLE OF ERβ IN MIGRATION OF CORTICAL NEURONS IN THE DEVELOPING BRAIN
  • C. Förster, S. Mäkelä, A. Wärri, S. Kietz, D. Becker, K. Hultenby, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Involvement of estrogen receptor β in terminal differentiation of mammary gland epithelium. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 99, 15578-15583, 2002. DISCOVERY OF A ROLE OF ERβ IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MAMMARY GLAND
  • Z. Weihua, R. Lathe, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: An endocrine pathway in the prostate, ER, AR, 5α-androstane-3β, 17β-diol, and CYP7B1, regulates prostate growth. Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci. USA, 99, 13589-13594, 2002. DISCOVERY OF A NOVEL PATHWAY IN THE PROSTATE INVOLVING ERβ and 5α-ANDROSTANE-3β, 17β-DIOL REGULATING PROSTATE GROWTH
  • L. Wang, G. U. Schuster, K. Hultenby, Q. Zhang, S. Andersson, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Liver X receptors in the central nervous system: From lipid homeostasis to neuronal degeneration. Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci. USA, 99, 13878-13883, 2002. DISCOVERY OF THE ROLE OF LIVER X RECEPTORS IN CHOLESTEROL METABOLISM IN THE BRAIN
  • L. Wang, S. Andersson, M. Warner and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Estrogen actions in the brain. Science STKE, 138, 2002. http://stke.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/sigtrans;2002/138/pe29 DISCOVERY OF ACTIONS OF ERβ IN THE BRAIN
  • Z. Weihua, S. Mäkelä, L. C. Andersson, S. Salmi, S. Saji, J. I. Webster, E. V. Jensen, S. Nilsson, M. Warner, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: A role for estrogen receptor in the regulation of growth of the ventral prostate. Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci. USA, 98, 6330-6335, 2001. DISCOVERY OF THE REGULATORY ROLE OF ERß IN THE GROWTH OF THE PROSTATE
  • A.M. Brzozowski, A.C.W. Pike, Z. Dauter, R.E. Hubbard, T. Bonn, O. Engström, L. Öhman, G.L. Greene, J.-Å. Gustafsson and M. Carlquist: Insights into the molecular basis of agonism and antagonism in the oestrogen receptor as revealed by complexes with 17ß-oestradiol and raloxifene. Nature, 389, 753-758, 1997. DISCOVERY OF THE MOLECULAR MECHANISM OF ANTAGONISM (HELIX 12 PERTURBATION) WITHIN NUCLEAR RECEPTORS
  • G.G.J.M. Kuiper, E. Enmark, M. Pelto-Huikko, S. Nilsson, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Cloning of a novel estrogen receptor expressed in rat prostate and ovary. Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci. USA, 93, 5925-5930, 1996. DISCOVERY OF THE 2ND ESTROGEN RECEPTOR, ERß, CAUSING A PARADIGM SHIFT IN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF ESTROGEN SIGNALING
  • M. Teboul, E. Enmark, Q. Li, A.C. Wikström, M. Pelto-Huikko, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: OR-1, a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily that interacts with the 9-cis-retinoic acid receptor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 92, 2096-2100, 1995. DISCOVERY OF LXRß
  • M. Göttlicher, E. Widmark, Q. Li, and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Fatty acids activate a chimera of the clofibric acid-activated receptor and the glucocorticoid receptor. Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci. USA, 89, 4653-4657, 1992. FIRST DESCRIBED ACTIVATORS OF AN ORPHAN NUCLEAR RECEPTOR (FATTY ACIDS FOR PPARα)
  • T. Härd, E. Kellenbach, R. Boelens, B. A. Maler, K. Dahlman, L. P. Freedman, J. Carlstedt-Duke, K. R. Yamamoto, J.-Å. Gustafsson, and R. Kaptein: Solution structure of the glucocorticoid receptor DNA-binding domain. Science, 249, 157-160, 1990. FIRST 3-D STRUCTURE OF A NUCLEAR RECEPTOR DOMAIN (THE DBD)
  • R. Miesfeld, S. Okret, A.-C. Wikström, Ö. Wrange, J.-Å. Gustafsson and K. Yamamoto: Characterization of a steroid receptor gene and mRNA in wild-type and mutant cells. Nature 312, 779-781, 1984. FIRST CLONING OF A NUCLEAR RECEPTOR cDNA
  • F. Payvar, Ö. Wrange, J. Carlstedt-Duke, S. Okret, J.-Å. Gustafsson and K.R. Yamamoto: Purified glucocorticoid receptors bind selectively in vitro to a cloned DNA fragment whose transcription is regulated by glucocorticoids in vivo. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 78, 6628-6632, 1981. FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF SPECIFIC BINDING OF A NUCLEAR RECEPTOR TO DNA
  • Ö. Wrange, J. Carlstedt-Duke and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Purification of the glucocorticoid receptor from rat liver cytosol. J. Biol. Chem. 254, 9284-9290, 1979. FIRST PURIFICATION OF A NUCLEAR RECEPTOR TO HOMOGENEITY
  • Ö. Wrange and J.-Å. Gustafsson: Separation of the hormone- and DNA-binding sites of the hepatic glucocorticoid receptor by means of proteolysis. J. Biol. Chem. 253, 856-865, 1978. FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF DOMAIN STRUCTURE OF A NUCLEAR RECEPTOR


  • 2015 - Benning Lecture, School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 2014 - The Schueler Distinguished Lecture in Pharmacology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 2012 - The Robert M. Hearin Distinguished Lecture, The University of Mississippi - Medical Center Cancer Institute, Jackson, Mississippi
  • 2012 - The Biennial Pomerat Memorial Lecture, UTMB Health, Neuroscience & Cell Biology, Galveston, Texas
  • 2011 - The Grand Silver Medal of the Karolinska Institute
  • 2010 - Mortimer B. Lipsett Memorial Lecture, NIH
  • 2010 - Dr. John J. And Sarajane C. Batchelor Endowed Lecture, OMRF, Oklahoma City,Oklahoma
  • 2009 - Member of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas
  • 2009 - The Grand Nordic Fernström Prize of the University of Lund
  • 2009 - Award of Merit, Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund
  • 2009 - Geoffrey Harris Prize
  • 2008 - Foreign Member Finnish Scientific Society
  • 2008 - EMD Serono President’s Distinguished Lecture. Annual Meeting of the Society for Gynecological Investigation, San Diego.
  • 2008 - International Member American Philosophical Society
  • 2005 - Descartes Research Prize for excellence in scientific collaborative research
  • 2005 - 2nd Ernst Knobil Memorial Lecture, San Diego, USA
  • 2004 - Medal from Biomedicum Helsinki
  • 2004 - Bristol-Meyers Squibb/Mead Johnson Award for Nutrition Research
  • 2003 - FEBS Lectureship Datta Award
  • 2003 - McDowell Lecture in Physiology, King’s College, London, U.K.
  • 2002 - Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques
  • 2002 - Foreign Honorary Member of the US National Academy of Sciences
  • 2002 - Chairman of the Nobel Assembly of the Karolinska Institutet
  • 2002 - Fred Conrad Koch Award (Endocrine Society USA)
  • 2001 - The AF Group Prize for the creation of Novum Research Park
  • 2001 - Lorenzini Gold Medal, Lorenzini Foundation
  • 2001 - Vice chairman of the Nobel Assembly of the Karolinska Institutet
  • 2000 - One of ISI Top 258 Researchers in Biology & Biochemistry
  • 2000 - Garvan International Fellow
  • 2000 - Burroughs Wellcome Fund Lecture
  • 2000 - Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2000 - European Medal, British Society for Endocrinology
  • 2000 - Curt Nicolin’s Prize for Achievements for the Development of South Stockholm
  • 1999 - Medal of the IngaBritt and Arne Lundberg’s Research Foundation
  • 1999 - Fogarty Scholar NIH
  • 1998 - Adjunct Member of the Nobel Committee of the Karolinska Institutet
  • 1998 - The Söderberg Prize in Medicine
  • 1998 - Member of the Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
  • 1997 - Member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • 1994 - Gregory Pincus Medal and Award, Worcester Foundation
  • 1992 - Keith Harris Lecture, Australian Endocrine Society, Adelaide
  • 1992 - The Anders Jahre Prize, Oslo
  • 1992 - Medal from Collège de France, Paris
  • 1990 - Honorary Member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • 1986 - Honorary Member of the Japanese Biochemical Society
  • 1986 - Member of the Nobel Assembly of the Karolinska Institutet
  • 1983 - The Fernström Prize of the Karolinska Institutet
  • 1982 - The Svedberg Prize in Chemistry, Stockholm


  • 2015 - Distinguished Professor of Dalian Medical University, China
  • 2015 - Honorary Doctor in Medicine, University of Athens, Greece
  • 2014 - Honorary Fellow at South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide
  • 2011 - Distinguished Visiting Scholar to the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in Roanoke, Virginia
  • 2011 - Honorary Doctor in Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  • 2010 - Adjunct Professor, Molecular and Cellular Oncology, the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
  • 2009 - Senior Member, the Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, Texas
  • 2008 - Honorary Professor at the Beijing Normal University
  • 2008 - Honorary doctorate in Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Milan
  • 2007 - Honorary Professor at the University of Chongquin, China
  • 2004 - Guest Professor at the University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei
  • 2003 - J.G. Moore Visiting Professor, UCLA, USA
  • 2003 - Marius Tausk Visiting Professor at the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC)
  • 2002 - Burroughs Wellcome Fund Visiting Professor in the Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine
  • 2000 - Center for Bioenvironmental Research Distinguished Visiting Professor, Tulane University, New Orleans
  • 1995 - Sterling Visiting Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 1991 - Consultant to The Rockefeller University Hospital
  • 1987 - Adjunct Full Professor at the Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

International Reviewing Panels

  • 1995 - Chairman of a board evaluating the Center for Biotechnology, University of Oslo.
  • 1994 - Member of a board evaluating the Center for Biotechnology, Helsinki.
  • 1991 - As chairman of a board evaluating the Norwegian Biotechnology Program.

Peer Review Groups/Grant Study Sections

  • 2007 - Member of the LTA (LAM Treatment Alliance) SAB (Scientific Advisory Board, Boston.
  • 2007 - Member of the IRB Barcelona External Advisory Board.
  • 2007 - Member of the selection committee for The King Faisal International Prize in Science.
  • 2005-2007 - Member of the International Academic Advisory Committee (IAAC), Hefei, Peoples’s Republic of China.
  • 1995 - Member of the International Advisory Board of the WHO Center in Oulu.

Journal Service

Member, currently and/or previously, of the editorial board or similar position in Steroids, The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Molecular Endocrinology, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, The Prostate, Anticancer Research, Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, Journal of Molecular Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology, Cell Metabolism, Experimental Biology and Medicine and the International Journal of Oncology.

Board Certification

  • Elected Councillor/Board Member of the Swedish Medical Research Council during the 1990s (for 6 years).
  • Member of the Research Board of the Swedish Cancer Society during the 1980s and 1990s (for 6 years).
  • Member of the Research Board of the Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research during the 1980s and 1990s (for 6 years).
  • Has been member of the Faculty Board of the Karolinska Institutet and has regularly carried out various assignments for the President’s Office of the Karolinska Institutet.
  • Awards Committee Member, Endocrine Society, USA 2002-06.
  • Elected Member of Council (Board) of Endocrine Society, USA, 2007 – 2010

Career/Academic Appointments

  • 1964 - Bachelor of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm
  • 1971 - Associate Professor in Chemistry, Karolinska Institutet
  • 1976 - Professor of Chemistry, Karolinska Institutet
  • 1978 - Professor of Chemistry, University of Gothenburg
  • 1979 - Professor of Medical Nutrition and Chairman of the Dept of Medical Nutrition, Huddinge University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet
  • 2006-2008 - Professor of Medical Nutrition and Chairman of the Dept of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet
  • 2009 - Professor of Medical Nutrition, Karolinska Institute (50%) Robert A. Welch Professor of Dept. of Biology and Biochemistry and Director of Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling, University of Houston, Texas (50%)

Administrative Positions

  • 1985 - Director of the Center for Biotechnology, Huddinge University Hospital, Karolinska Institute
  • 1987 - Founder of KaroBio AB (a campus-situated biotechnology company sponsored by pension and governmental funds with about 80 employees).
  • 1979-1991 - Project leader of the Swedish EPA research program on Air Pollution in Urban Areas
  • 2004-2009 - Coordinator for the EU funded CASCADE Network of Excellence