Linda B. Buck

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Linda Buck
Dr Linda Buck ForMemRS.jpg
Linda Buck in 2015, portrait via the Royal Society
Born Linda Brown Buck
(1947-01-29) January 29, 1947 (age 69)[1]
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Nationality American
Fields Biologist
Institutions Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
University of Washington, Seattle
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Columbia University
Harvard University[2]
Alma mater
Known for Olfactory receptors
Notable awards
Spouse Roger Brent

Linda Brown Buck (born January 29, 1947)[1] is an American biologist best known for her work on the olfactory system. She was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with Richard Axel, for their work on olfactory receptors.[5][6][7][8] She is currently on the faculty of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.[9]

Education and early life[edit]

Born in Seattle, Washington, Buck received her B.S. in psychology and microbiology in 1975 from the University of Washington, Seattle and her Ph.D. in immunology in 1980 from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.[10]

Career and research[edit]

Buck completed postdoctoral research at Columbia University under Axel. In 1991 Buck became an assistant professor of neurobiology at Harvard University where she expanded her knowledge of the nervous system.[11] Her primary research interest is on how pheromones and odors are detected in the nose and interpreted in the brain. She is a Full Member of the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, an Affiliate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington, Seattle and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

In their landmark paper published in 1991,[10] Buck and Axel cloned olfactory receptors, showing that they belong to the family of G protein-coupled receptors. By analyzing rat DNA, they estimated that there were approximately one thousand different genes for olfactory receptors in the mammalian genome. This research opened the door to the genetic and molecular analysis of the mechanisms of olfaction. In their later work, Buck and Axel have shown that each olfactory receptor neuron remarkably only expresses one kind of olfactory receptor protein and that the input from all neurons expressing the same receptor is collected by a single dedicated glomerulus of the olfactory bulb.

Awards and honors[edit]

Linda Buck

Buck was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. Buck was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.[12] She also sits on the Selection Committee for Life Science and Medicine which chooses winners of the Shaw Prize. On May 28, 2015, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Harvard University. Buck was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2015.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Buck is married to biologist Roger Brent.[10]


  1. ^ a b BUCK, Linda B. Who's Who 2016 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Facts & Figures". Harvard Medical School. Harvard College. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Linda B. Buck - A Superstar of Science". Superstars of Science. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  4. ^ a b "Dr Linda Buck ForMemRS, Foreign Member". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  5. ^ "Press Release: The 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine". Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Buck L., Axel R. A novel multigene family may encode odorant receptors: a molecular basis for odor recognition. Cell 1991;65:175-87. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(91)90418-X PMID 1840504.
  7. ^ "Secrets of smell land Nobel Prize". BBC News. 4 October 2004. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Linda B. Buck - Curriculum Vitae, Interview". 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  9. ^ "Linda Buck Lab". Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  10. ^ a b c Badge, Peter (2008). Nobel Faces. John Wiley & Sons. p. 180. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Linda B. Buck - Autobiography". Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 7 April 2011.