Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology

MSC03 2060
300 Terrace St. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Physical Location:
Clark Hall

Phone: 505-277-6655

William Sherman Garver

Research Professor

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Chemical Biology and Biochemistry

Contact Information

Phone: 505 277-6655
Office: Clark Hall Room 370


  • B.A., Biological Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.
  • M.S., Biological Chemistry and Molecular Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.
  • Ph.D., Biological Chemistry and Molecular Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.


My research program investigates the genetic architecture and evolution of gene-nutrient interactions that regulate energy metabolism and association with human diseases. These studies have primarily focused on the Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) gene/protein that serves as an endosomal lipid transporter that maintains cellular, tissue, and whole-body energy metabolism. To date, a large number of rare NPC1 gene deleterious derived variants are responsible for a fatal childhood metabolic disease known as Niemann-Pick C1 disease, while a defined number of common NPC1 gene ancestral variants are associated with common adult obesity and/or type 2 diabetes depending on ethnic/genetic background. Finally, the NPC1 protein serves as the natural receptor for several species of filoviruses, including the Ebola and Marburg viruses, responsible for severe hemorrhagic fever resulting in high mortality.           

Honors & Awards

Postdoctoral Training

  • Senior Fellow, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Faculty Appointments

  • Research Assistant Professor and Lecturer, Division of Molecular Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
  • Research Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer, Division of Molecular Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
  • Research Professor and Principal Lecturer, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.

Selected Publications

Select Original Research Articles
  • Garver WS, Heidenreich RA, Erickson RP, Thomas MA, Wilson JM. Localization of the murine Niemann-Pick C1 protein to two distinct intracellular compartments. Journal of Lipid Research 41: 673-687, 2000.
  • Garver WS, Krishnan K, Gallagos JR, Michikawa M, Francis GA, Heidenreich RA. Niemann-Pick C1 protein regulates cholesterol transport to the trans-Golgi network and plasma membrane caveolae. Journal of Lipid Research 43: 579-589, 2002.
  • Garver WS, Xie C, Repa JJ, Turley SD, John M. Dietschy. Niemann-Pick C1 expression is not regulated by the amount of cholesterol flowing through cells in the mouse. Journal of Lipid Research 46: 1745-1754, 2005.
  • Garver WS, Jelinek D, Francis GA, Murphy BD. The Niemann-Pick C1 gene is downregulated by feedback inhibition of the SREBP pathway in human fibroblasts. Journal of Lipid Research 49: 1090-1102, 2008.
  • Garver WS, Jelinek D, Meaney FJ, Flynn J, Pettit KM, Shepherd G, Heidenreich RA, Walsh-Vockley CM, Castro G, Francis GA. The National Niemann-Pick type C1 disease database: Correlation of lipid profiles, mutations, and biochemical phenotypes. Journal of Lipid Research 51: 406-415, 2010.
  • Jelinek D, Millward V, Birdi A, Trouard TP, Heidenreich RA, Garver WS. NPC1 haploinsufficiency promotes weight gain and metabolic features associated with insulin resistance. Human Molecular Genetics 20: 312-321, 2011.
  • Castillo JJ, Jelinek D, Gua H, Gannon NP, Vaughan RA, Horwood LJ, Meaney FJ, Garcia-Smith R, Trujillo KA, Heidenreich RA, Meyre D, Orlando RA, LeBoeuf RC, Garver WS. The Niemann-Pick C1 gene interacts with a high-fat diet to promote weight gain through regulation of central energy metabolism pathways. American Journal of Physiology 313: 183-194, 2017.
  • Castillo JJ, Hazlett ZS, Orlando RA, Garver WS. A global evolutionary and metabolic analysis of human obesity gene risk variants. Gene 627: 412-419, 2017.

Select Review Articles

  • Garver WS. Gene-diet interactions in childhood obesity. Current Genomics 12: 180-189, 2011.
  • Garver WS, Newman SB, Gonzales-Pacheco DM, Castillo JJ, Jelinek D, Heidenreich RA, Orlando RA. The genetics of childhood obesity and interaction with dietary macronutrients. Genes and Nutrition 8: 271-287, 2013.
  • Conn CA, Vaughan RA, Garver WS. Nutritional genetics and energy metabolism in human obesity. Current Nutrition Reports 2: 142-150, 2013.
  • Castillo JJ, Orlando RA, Garver WS. Gene-nutrient interactions and susceptibility to human obesity. Genes and Nutrition 12: 1-9, 2017.
  • Lamri A, Pigeyre M, Garver WS, Meyre D. The extending spectrum of NPC1-related human disorders: From Niemann-Pick C1 disease to obesity. Endocrine Reviews 39: 192-220, 2018.