University of California, Riverside

School of Medicine

Faculty Biographies

Anthony Norman

Distinguished Prof of Biochemistry & Biomedical Science, Emeritus
Presidential Chair in Biochemistry, Emeritus

Anthony W. Norman

University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-4777
Fax: (951) 827-4784
Office: 5456 Boyce Hall

Education and Training

  • B.A. Chemistry, Oberlin College 1959
  • M.S. Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison 1961
  • Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison 1963


Anthony Norman and Helen HenryProfessor Emeritus Anthony Norman remains active in the research and investigation of vitamin D. He is an organizer of the Vitamin D Workshop, an annual meeting providing insights on Vitamin D research across the globe. He is also active in the Council of UC Emeriti Association, which represents emeriti faculty across the 10 UC campuses. Pictured at right, Norman with his wife, Prof. Helen Henry.

Research Summary

The purpose of my research program is the investigation of the vitamin D endocrine system and the most biologically active steroid hormones derived from the parent vitamin D, 1a,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 [1a,25(OH)2D3] and 24R,25(OH)2-vitamin D32D3]. The major thesis of our studies is that in terms of its chemical structure and mode of action, the seco-steroid, vitamin D (calciferol), is similar to other classic steroid hormones. The kidney is the endocrine gland that produces, in a physiologically regulated fashion, small amounts of 1a,25(OH)2D3 and 24R,25(OH)2D3. After systemic transport, 1a,25(OH)2D3 generates a wide array of biological responses (in over 30 target tissues) both by classical regulation of gene transcription via a nuclear receptor [VDRnuc] and rapid signal transduction pathways involving a membrane receptor [VDRmem]. The second hormone, 24R,25(OH)2D3, plays a subsidiary role in certain selected physiological circumstances, particularly in bone development and fracture-healing. [24R,25(OH)]


  • Presidential Chair, Biochemistry Department, University of California, Riverside (7/1/99 -2009).
  • Graduate Student Mentor award from University of California, Riverside, June 2005.
  • William F. Neuman Award, American Society for Bone & Mineral Research, 1995.
  • Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1995.
  • MERIT Award from National Institutes of Health, 1986-1993.
  • Osborne & Mendel Award, American Institute of Nutrition, 1990.
  • Faculty Research Lecturer, University of California, Riverside, 1982.
  • Prix Andre Lichtwitz (INSERM, Paris, France), 1981.
  • Listed as one of the 425 and 325 most cited scientists for 1965-1985, respectively, by the Institute for Scientific Information.
  • Postdoctoral, 1963/64 UCLA, Ernst Oppenheimer Award, 1977, The Endocrine Society.
  • Mead Johnson Award, American Institute of Nutrition, 1977.
  • Fulbright Fellowship, 1970/71.
  • National Institutes of Health Special Fellowship, 1970/71.


Selected Publications

  • Menegaz, D., Barrientos-Duran, A., Kline, A., Silva, F.R., Norman, A.W. Mizwicki, M.T. and Zanello, L.P. 1a,25(OH)2-VitaminD3 stimulation of secretion via chloride channel activation in Sertoli cells. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 119:127-134 (2010).
  • Mizwicki, M.T., Menegaz, D., Yahgmaei, S., Henry, H.L. and Norman, A.W. A molecular description of ligand binding to the two overlapping binding pockets of the nuclear vitamin D receptor (VDR): Structure-function implications. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 121:98-105 (2010).
  • Norman, A.W. and Bouillon, R. Vitamin D nutritional policy needs a vision for the future. Exp. Biol. Med. 235:1034-1045 (2010). AWN-795
  • K. R. Schumacher, A. S. Popel, J. Faculty, W. E. Brownell, and A. A. Spector, “Modeling the mechanics of tethers pulled from the cochlear outer hair cell membrane,” Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 130 (3):031007, 2008.
  • Bula, C., Bishop, J., Norman A.W. Conservative mutageneic perturbations of amino acids connecting helix 12 in the 1a,25(OH)2-D3 receptor (VDR) to the ligand cause significant transactivational effects. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. 103: 286-292 (2007).
  • Vieth, R., Bischoff-Ferrari, H., Boucher, B., Dawson-Hughes, B., Garland, C., Heaney, R., Holick, M., Hollis, B., Lamberg-Allardt, C., McGrath, J., Norman, A., Scragg, R., Whiting, S., Willett, W., and Zittermann, A. The urgent need to recommend an intake of vitamin D that is effective. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2007 85: 649-650 (2007). (AWN-774.pdf)
  • Norman, A.W. Vitamin D Receptor (VDR): New assignments for an already busy receptor. Endocrinology 147: 5542-5548 (2006).
  • Bula, C.M., Huhtakangas, J.A., Olivera, C. J., Bishop, J.E., Norman, A.W., Henry, H.L. Presence of a Truncated Form of VDR in a Strain of VDR KO Mice. Endocrinology. 146:5581-5586 (2005).
  • Huhtakangas, J.A., Olivera, C.J., Bishop, J.E., Zanello, L.P, and Norman, A.W. The vitamin D receptor is present in caveolae and binds 1a,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 in vivo and in vitro. Mol. Endo. 18:2660-2671 (2004).
  • Mizwicki, M.T., Keidel, D., Bula, C.M., Bishop, J. E., Zanello, L.P., Wurtz, J.-M., Moras, D. and Norman, A.W. Identification of an alternative ligand-binding pocket in the nuclear vitamin D receptor and its functional importance in 1a,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 signaling. PNAS 101:12876-12881 (2004).
  • Norman, A.W., Mizwicki, M.T., Norman, D.P.G. Steroid-hormone rapid actions, membrane receptors and a conformational ensemble model. Nature Reviews: Drug Discovery 3:27-41 (2004).
  • Zanello, L.P., and Norman, A.W. Rapid modulation of osteoblast ion channel responses by 1a,25(OH)2-vitamin D3PNAS 101: 1589-1594 (2004). (AWN-751.pdf) requires the presence of a functional vitamin D nuclear receptor.

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