Richard Goodman, M.D., Ph.D.

Richard Goodman, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Vollum Institute

Phone: 503-494-5409
Office: Vollum 4435A

Goodman Lab

View research papers on PubMed


Richard Goodman is a senior scientist in the Vollum Institute. He also holds appointments as professor of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. After receiving his B.S. degree in Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in 1976. Goodman trained in clinical medicine at Tufts-New England Medical Center from 1976 to 1978 and was an endocrinology fellow at New England Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. He was appointed as an assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in 1982 and returned to Tufts-New England Medical Center in 1983, where he rose to the rank of professor of Medicine and chief of the Division of Molecular Medicine. He has been at the Vollum since 1990 and served as the Institute's director from 1990 until 2016.

Goodman's contributions include the characterization of the cAMP regulated enhancer (CRE), identification of the CREB coactivator, CBP, and one of the first genome-wide analyses of transcription factor binding sites in metazoan cells. Goodman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and served on the scientific review board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has trained 14 graduate students and 29 fellows, many of whom have gone on to have successful careers as independent investigators. His first student was recently elected into the National Academy of Sciences.


Summary of Current Research

The cAMP-regulated enhancer (CRE), initially identified in the Goodman lab, is a critical control element in many neuronal genes and the widespread presence of this element provides a mechanism that may allow coordinate regulation. Transcriptional signals mediated by the CRE depend upon the transcription factor CREB, which is activated through a variety of signaling pathways including cAMP, calcium, and growth factors. Phosphorylation of CREB leads to the recruitment of the CREB binding protein, CBP, which was also identified in the Goodman lab. CBP was the first example in metazoans of a transcriptional coactivator and has been shown to participate in virtually all positively regulated transcriptional pathways. Not surprisingly, perturbation of CBP function has profound effects on cell growth, differentiation, and development. One project in the lab uses laser microdissection and single cell RNASeq to identify genes in hippocampal granule cells that are induced by voluntary exercise. This study has identified a family of RNA transcripts that direct early steps in the formation of dendritic spines and current efforts (in collaboration with Gary Westbrook) are directed toward determining the contributions of the corresponding gene products to synaptic plasticity. A second project (in collaboration with Lulu Cambronne and Michael Cohen) is to elucidate the role of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide NAD+ in regulating cellular functions in health and disease. The ability of the biosensor developed in the lab to monitor free NAD+ levels in discrete subcellular compartments, which has never before been possible, will be important in sorting out the contribution of this molecule to neurodegeneration and the pathways connecting diet, gene regulation, and longevity.


Selected Publications

Cambronne XA, Stewart ML, Kim D, Jones-Brunette AM, Morgan RK, Farrens DL, Cohen MS, Goodman RH. (2016) Biosensor reveals multiple sources for mitochondrial NAD+. Science 352:1474-1477.

Cambronne XA, Shen R, Auer PL, and Goodman RH. (2012) Capturing microRNA targets using an RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC)-trap approach. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109:20473-20478.

Magill ST, Cambronne XA, Luikart BW, Lioy DT, Leighton BH, Westbrook GL, Mandel G, and Goodman RH. (2010) MicroRNA-132 regulates dendritic growth and arborization of newborn neurons in the adult hippocampus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 107:20382-20387.

Impey S, McCorkle SR, Cha-Molstad H, Dwyer JM, Yochum GS, Boss JM, McWeeney S, Dunn JJ, Mandel G, and Goodman RH. (2004) Defining the CREB regulon: a genome-wide analysis of transcription factor regulatory regions. Cell 119:1041-1054.