Howard J. Worman, M.D. is Professor of Medicine and Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Worman received his BA from Cornell University and MD from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He did clinical training in internal medicine at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and postdoctoral research training in cell biology at Rockefeller University. He then obtained clinical training in liver diseases at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Dr. Worman is internationally recognized for his research in cell biology and hepatology. His laboratory research is focused on primarily on the cell biology of rare genetic diseases. These include different types of muscular dystrophy, cardiomyopathy, lipodystrophy and premature aging syndromes (progeria) . He also does research on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and on the characterization of antibodies in autoimmune liver diseases. His clinical practice is primarily devoted to consultation in liver diseases.
Dr. Worman is an author on over 200 scientific publications. In 1998, he was elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigator and, in 2010, to the Association of American Physicians. He has served on the Editorial Boards of Hepatology, Gastroenterology, Molecular Biology of the Cell and Journal of Autoimmunity and as a Section Editor of BMC Cell Biology. Dr. Worman is also author of the popular Liver Disorders and Hepatitis Sourcebook (McGraw-Hill, 2006).
Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated
- Liver Disease
- Professor of Medicine
- Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology
- NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center
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- Traditional Medicare
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- Quality Health Management
Credentials & Experience
Education & Training
- Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago
- Internship: New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center
- Residency: New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center
- Fellowship: Rockefeller University
- Fellowship: New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center
- Internal Medicine
Honors & Awards
- Phi Beta Kappa, Cornell University, 1980
- Bachelor of Arts cum laude in biology, Cornell University, 1981
- Calvin Fentress Research Fellowship Award, University of Chicago, 1984
- First Prize Midwest Student Medical Research Forum, 1985
- Franklin McLean Award for meritorious medical student research, University of Chicago, 1985
- Richard W. Reilly Award for outstanding aptitude in gastroenterology, University of Chicago, 1985
- Trainee Award in Clinical Research, American Federation for Clinical Research, 1989
- Henry Christian Award, American Federation for Clinical Research, 1990 Charles E. Culpeper Scholar in Medical Science, 1994
- SmithKline Beecham Clinical Research Award, American Gastroenterological Association, 1994
- Travel Award 16th International Congress of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology New Delhi, American Society For Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1994
- Silberberg Award, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1995
- Irma T. Hirschl Scholar, Irma T. Hirschl Trust, 1997
- American Society for Clinical Investigation, 1998
- Association of American Physicians, 2010
I trained in cell biology and as an internist. My major research focus has been on the nuclear lamina and nuclear envelope. In 1993, my group characterized LMNA, the gene encoding the A-type nuclear lamins, mutations in which cause a broad range of diseases often called laminopathies. These include cardiomyopathy, muscular dystrophy, Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome and Dunnigan-type familial partial lipodystrophy. These discoveries have led to my developing expertise in molecular genetics and genomic medicine, including mutation calling from human genome sequences and phenotype-genotype analyses in humans with inherited diseases. I have also generated and used numerous mouse models of human disease to dissect pathogenic mechanisms. In addition to extensive research using mouse models of diseases caused by LMNA mutations, my laboratory has performed genome-wide association studies in mice to identify genes that influence liver phenotypes.
We have also generated novel models of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis by deleting genes encoding interacting nuclear envelope and endoplasmic reticulum proteins from mouse hepatocytes. In addition to my basic research, I have been active in the nuclear envelope research field by serving on the NIH Nuclear and Cytoplasmic Structure/Function and Dynamics Study Section and the NIH Action Plan for the Muscular Dystrophies Mechanisms of Muscular Dystrophy Working Group Section on myopathies caused by mutations on genes encoding nuclear envelope proteins. I also serve on the Scientific Advisory Board of MNG Laboratories, which provides human diagnostics services, including Next Generation Sequencing. My overall goal is to better integrate cell biological approaches into precision medicine and genomics research.
- How mutations in genes encoding proteins of inner nuclear membrane cause inherited diseases
- Liver diseases, including fatty liver disease and autoimmune liver diseases.
2R01AR048997 Worman (PI) 07/01/2002 - 06/30/2020
NIH/NIAMS: Pathogenesis of Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy
The goals of this project are to examine the interaction between A-type lamins, emerin and LAP1 using genetic approaches in mice and biochemical and biophysical approaches in cells, to examine the binding of A-type lamins to ERK1/2 and to test how DUSP4 links activation of ERK1/2 to pathology in Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy.
1R01AR068636-01 Worman; Gundersen (MPI) 09/01/2015 - 06/30/2020
NIH/NIAMS: Nuclear Movement LINC Complex and Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy
The goal of this project is to test the hypothesis that in Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy there is a link between defective nuclear movement and ERK1/2 activity in myoblasts and muscle fibers and to examine the movement of nuclei and migration of myoblasts in cells with disease-causing mutations.
5R01HD070713-04 Gundersen; Worman (MPI) 03/15/2011 - 01/31/2016
NIH/NICHD: The Nucleocytoskeleton in Progeria and Aging
The goal of this project is to determine how abnormalities in the nuclear lamina in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome and cause abnormalities in nuclear migration and in the dynamics of nuclear envelope proteins that link the nucleus to the cytoskeleton and relate this to physiological aging. Dr. Worman shares the direct costs on this MPI grant with the other PI, Dr. Gundersen.
MDA 294537 Worman (PI) 05/01/2014 - 04/30/2017
Muscular Dystrophy Association: Emerin-LAP1 Interaction and X-linked Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy
The goals of this project are to determine the smallest interacting domains of LAP1 and emerin and examine their interaction in transfected cells using fluorescence photobleaching methods, examine the effects of emerin and LAP1 depletion on AKT and ERK1/2 signaling and determine if pharmacological inhibition of ERK1/2 signaling and mTOR activity improve muscle function in mice lacking emerin and LAP1 from muscle.
Shin JY, Hernandez-Ono A, Fedotova T, Ã–stlund C, Lee MJ, Gibeley SB, Liang CC, Dauer WT, Ginsberg HN, Worman HJ. Nuclear envelope-localized torsinA-LAP1 complex regulates hepatic VLDL secretion and steatosis. J Clin Invest. 2019 Aug 13;130:4885-4900. PMID: 31408437
Worman HJ, Michaelis S. Permanently Farnesylated Prelamin A, Progeria, and Atherosclerosis. Circulation. 2018; 138(3):283-286. PMID: 30012702
Wang Y, Lichter-Konecki U, Anyane-Yeboa K, Shaw JE, Lu JT, Ã–stlund C, Shin JY, Clark LN, Gundersen GG, Nagy PL, Worman HJ. A mutation abolishing the ZMPSTE24 cleavage site in prelamin A causes a progeroid disorder. J Cell Sci. 2016; 129(10):1975-80 PMID:27034136
Selected Reviews and Books
Gundersen GG, Worman HJ. Nuclear positioning. Cell 2013;152:1376-1389
Worman HJ. Nuclear lamins and laminopathies. J Pathol 2012;226:316-325
Worman HJ, Ostlund C, Wang Y. Diseases of the nuclear envelope. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2010;2:a000760.
Dauer WT, Worman HJ. The nuclear envelope as a signaling node in development and disease. Dev Cell 2009;17:626-638
Worman HJ. Nuclear envelope autoantigens in primary biliary cirrhosis. Hepatol Res 2007;37 Suppl 3:S406-S411
Worman HJ. The Liver Disroders Sourcebook McGraw-Hill (2006)