Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Jan-Ake Gustafsson, M.D., Ph.D.


Jan-Ake Gustafsson, M.D., Ph.D.

Jan-Ake Gustafsson, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Member
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
Welsh Professor of Chemistry
Director, The Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling
The University of Houston

E-mail: jgustafsson@houstonmethodist.org


Ph.D.   Department of Chemistry, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
M.D.   Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden


After completing his MD degree, Dr. Gustafsson was appointed Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Karolinska Institute in 1971, and was made full professor in 1976. In 1979, he was named Professor of Medical Nutrition and Chairman of the Department of Medical Nutrition at Huddinge University Hospital at the Karolinska Institute. In 1987, together with Dr. John Baxter (also at TMHRI), he founded Karo Bio, a campus-situated biotechnology company with approximately 80 employees, to develop and commercialize products to treat human diseases such as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and breast cancer. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, has published more than 1,300 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has trained over 200 Ph.D. students, post doctoral fellows, and visiting scientists. He was appointed Director of The Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling at the University of Houston, with a joint appointment at TMHRI, in 2009.

Description of Research

Nuclear receptors are proteins embedded in the cell nucleus that bind hormones and influence gene expression. Dr. Gustafsson and his research team discovered a novel nuclear receptor (estrogen receptor beta, ER-β) that plays a role in several human diseases including breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer. The goal of his research is to develop small molecule modulators of this and other hormone receptors to treat human disease.

Major Areas of Research

Nuclear receptors, estrogen receptors, breast cancer

Recent Publications

Jakobsson T, Venteclef N, Toresson G, Damdimopoulos AE, Ehrlund A, Lou X, Sanyal S, Steffensen KR, Gustafsson JA, Treuter E. GPS2 Is Required for Cholesterol Efflux by Triggering Histone Demethylation, LXR Recruitment, and Coregulator Assembly at the ABCG1 Locus. Mol Cell. 2009 34(4):510-518.

Hartman J, Ström A, Gustafsson JA. Estrogen receptor beta in breast cancer- diagnostic and therapeutic implications. Steroids. 2009 74(8):635-41.

Korf H, Vander Beken S, Romano M, Steffensen KR, Stijlemans B, Gustafsson JA, Grooten J, Huygen K. Liver X receptors contribute to the protective immune response against Mycobacterium tuberculosis in mice. J Clin Invest. 2009 119:1626-37.

Williams C, Helguero L, Edvardsson K, Haldosén LA, Gustafsson JA. Gene expression in murine mammary epithelial stem cell-like cells shows similarities to human breast cancer gene expression. Breast Cancer Res. 2009 11(3):R26.

Barros R, Gabbi C, Morani A, Warner M, Gustafsson JA. Participation of ER{alpha} and ER{beta} in glucose homeostasis in skeletal muscle and white adipose tissue. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2009 In press.


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