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Meet: Rodolfo Llinás

Department of Physiology and Neuroscience
New York University Medical School

hoto of rodolfo llinas in lab

Who I Am

My name is Rodolfo Llinas. I have a medical (M.D.) degree and a research (Ph.D.) degree, and I am the director of the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience at New York University Medical School. Neurolab was originally proposed as an idea by Drs. Wolf, Sulzman and myself in 1990. I served as the Chairman for the Scientific Committee which met over a period of three years at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woos Hole, Mass. This committee was responsible for organizing and discussing the scientific questions to be addressed in Neurolab and for the technical issues concerning "how to do this research" .

With respect to Neurolab I am, presently, a "NASA Investigator" ( an overseer ) and also form part of the team that Dr. Walton ( a professor from my department in New York) is supervising.

My Career Journey

I do research on the workings of the nervous system, an area of great interest to me since my childhood. Given this special interest I studied medicine and science. These studies provided the tools for addressing questions in brain function.

Likes/Dislikes about career

The positive aspects of a research career are the ability to design and execute experiments that you consider important, and the possibility to make the experimental results be known by other scientist in the rest of the word and to be utilized to every ones benefit. The down side (to some) is the economic benefits, science is not a great money making career!

Advice in Preparation for Career

As a child above all master your three "R's" (reading writing and arithmetic), take all the hard science you can muster in high school and college. Personally I was lucky in that my grandfather and father were both doctors, and were very encouraging in my desire to be a researcher. I also had good teachers at school and at the university.

Personal Information

I have two male children. They are now grownups. One ( Rafael) is a medical doctor doing neurology, the other ( Alexander) is a Ph.D. in molecular biology and will soon enter medical school. I hope to continue to do brain research for the rest of my life. There is nothing on Earth I would rather do.

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