Jay Horton, M.D.

  • Distinguished University Chair in Human Nutrition
  • Center for Human Nutrition Director's Endowed Chair
  • Scott Grundy Director's Chair
  • Internal Medicine - Digestive and Liver Diseases


Jay D. Horton obtained his B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Iowa in 1984 and 1988, respectively. He completed his internal medicine residency (1988-1991) and gastroenterology fellowship (1991-1994) at UT Southwestern Medical Center. During his gastroenterology fellowship he studied metabolic regulators of bile acid and cholesterol homeostasis in animals. Following the gastroenterology fellowship, he completed a Howard Hughes post doctoral fellowship in the Department of Molecular Genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The studies in this fellowship focused on the transcriptional regulation of cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis.

In clinical digestive diseases, Dr. Horton has an interest in conditions that lead to steatosis and obesity. Currently the laboratory is investigating molecular mediators of steatosis using various mouse models. Investigations from the laboratory have revealed how the primary transcriptional regulators of cholesterol metabolism (sterol regulatory element-binding proteins) are also key regulators of fatty acid synthesis in liver.

A major focus of the laboratory is to determine how these transcriptional regulators contribute to the development of steatosis in various disease processes such as diabetes, obesity, and beta-oxidation defects.

A second area of investigation centers on determining the function of PCSK9, a protein that is involved in determining plasma LDL cholesterol levels through its ability to post-transcriptionally regulate the expression of the LDL receptor in liver.

Education & Training
  • Medical School - University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  • Fellowship - UT Southwestern Medical Center (1991-1994), Gastroenterology
  • Fellowship - UT Southwestern Medical Center (1994-1997), Molecular Genetics
  • Internship/Residency - Parkland Health & Hospital System (1988-1991), Internal Medicine
Honors & Awards
  • Established Investigator 2000, American Heart Foundation
  • PEW Scholar 2000, PEW Foundation
  • Association of American Physicians 2008
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation 2003
  • Research Scholar Award 1999, American Digestive Health Foundation
  • American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Frontiers in Science Award 2016
Books & Publications
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Hepatic steatosis