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Linda Nowak, PhD

Department of Molecular Medicine

Associate Professor

Department of Molecular Medicine
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
C3-117 Veterinary Medical Center

Ithaca, NY 14853

Office: 607.253.3655
Lab: 607.253.3658
Fax: 607.253.3659

Research Interest

The overall focus of our research is on characterizing the mechanism of activation, deactivation and desensitization of glutamate receptor-channel proteins that are heterologously expressed in mammalian cells and in native neurons in primary culture. The biological impetus for our research is to understand how the diverse functions of the three subfamilies of glutamate receptors (AMPA, kainate and NMDA), which have pre-post- and extrasynaptic roles in the brain, are related to their intrinsic biophysical properties. In the last five years we have collaborated with Dr. Gabriela Popescu at the University of Buffalo and Dr. Robert Oswald in our department, performing detailed kinetic analysis of wild type NMDA (neuronal) and AMPA receptor-channels expressed in human embryonic kidney cells. Our new work is focused on making point mutations in a part of a model AMPA receptor hypothesized to be involved in the transfer of energy from agonist binding to the opening the channel pore. A second project involves studying the influence of cytoplasmic factors on the function of single AMPA receptor-channels in cell-attached and excised inside-out membrane patches.


  • PhD, Neurosciences, University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School, 1981
  • BS, Biology and Psychology, Syracuse University, 1974

Biography/Professional Experience

  • 2006-Present, Visiting Scientist (with G. Popescu), University of Buffalo SUNY, Department of Biochemistry
  • 1996-Present, Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Cornell University
  • 2000-2001, Summer Instructor of Neurobiology Course, Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
  • 2000, Sabbatical (with G.P. Hess) , Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
  • 1992-1996, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Cornell University
  • 1993-1994, Visiting Scholar, Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • 1985-1992, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Cornell University
  • 1982-1985, Researcher, Laboratoire de Neurobiologie, Ecole Normale Superieure.
  • 1981-1982, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neurology, University of Michigan Medical School


Awards and Honors

  • 1974, Phi Beta Kappa
  • 1993-1994, NRSA Senior Fellowship
  • 1984-1985, Foundation Simone et Cino del Duca Fellowship
  • 1984, Foundation pour la Recherche Medicale Fellowship
  • 1982-1984, NSF-CNRS Exchange Scientist
  • 1981-1982, NIH Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 1980-1981, Rackham Graduate Fellowship
  • 1974-1976, University of Michigan Fellowship
  • 1973-1974, Ralph Wilcox Scholarship for Medically Related Sciences
  • 1970-1974, New York State Regents Scholarship
  • 1970-1974, Syracuse University Scholarship

Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • Biophysical Society
  • Society for Neurosciences


  • 2008-2013, DVM-PhD Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, Director
  • 1999-2003, NIH Mental Retardation Research Subcommittee of NICHD, Member