Linda Buck explores the mechanisms underlying smell, taste, and pheromone sensing in mammals. In the olfactory system, hundreds of different odorant receptors are used in a combinatorial fashion to encode the identities of thousands of odorous chemicals. Studies using receptor genes as molecular and genetic tools have revealed how these combinatorial codes are represented in the nose, olfactory bulb, and olfactory cortex to ultimately generate diverse odor perceptions.
Linda Buck received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, and her PhD degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She did postdoctoral research in neuroscience at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeon. Linda Buck's honors include the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for distinguished work in basic medical research, the Louis Vuitton-Moet Hennessy Science for Art Prize, the R. H. Wright Award in olfactory research, the Unilever Science Award. Linda Buck is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.