American Philosophical Society
Member History

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2. Biological Sciences[X]
1Name:  Dr. Jan-Ake Gustafsson
 Institution:  Karolinska Institute; University of Houston
 Year Elected:  2008
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  201. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1943
Jan-Åke Gustafsson, M.D., Ph.D., has played a pivotal role in discoveries of how nuclear receptors in the cell mediate actions of hormones and nutrients to regulate gene expression. Dr. Gustafsson is Professor of Medical Nutrition and Chairman of the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum, Karolinska University Hospital at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Gustafsson first described the three-domain structure of nuclear receptors, defined the function of these domains, and determined how the DNA-binding mechanism mediates nuclear receptor activities in the cell. He also was the first to discover that fatty acids are natural activators of the peroxisome proliferator activated nuclear receptor (PPAR), thus stimulating the investigation of the role of PPARs in lipid metabolism. Furthermore, Dr. Gustafsson discovered a second type of estrogen receptor (ER?) as well as a nuclear receptor that is important in cholesterol metabolism (LXR?). Dr. Gustafsson received his Bachelor of Medicine degree in 1964, his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1968 and his M.D. degree in 1971, all from the Karolinska Institute. He was named a professor of chemistry at the Institute in 1976, and to his current posts in 1979. In 1987, he founded KaroBio AB, a biotechnology company based at the Karolinska Institute, initially supported by pension and government funds. 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-present Professor of Medical Nutrition and Chairman of the Dept of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet Among the honors he has received during his career are: The Svedberg Prize in chemistry in 1982, the Fernström Prize of the Karolinska Institute in 1983, the Anders Jahre Prize in 1992, the Gregory Pincus Medal and Award of the Worcester Foundation in 1994, the Söderberg Prize in Medicine in 1998, the European Medal of the British Society for Endocrinology in 2000, the Lorenzini Gold Medal in 2001, the Fred Conrad Koch Award from the Endocrine Society in the U.S. in 2002, the Bristol-Meyers Squibb/Mead Johnson Award for Nutrition Research in 2004, the Geoffrey Harris Prize in 2009, the Award of Merit of the Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund in 2009, the Grand Nordic Fernstrom Prize of the University of Lund in 2009, and the Grand Silver Medal of the Karolinska Institutet in 2011. Dr. Gustafsson was elected to the Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1997, to the Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in 1998, became a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and a foreign honorary member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2002. In 2002 he was Chairman of the Nobel Assemly of the Karolinska Institutet. Jan-Åke Gustafsson was elected an international member of the American Philosophical Society in 2008.
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