Meet: Rodolfo Llinás
Department of Physiology and Neuroscience
New York University Medical School
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.
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