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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rensselaer Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Linda McGown
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Linda B. McGown

William Weightman Walker Professor
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Washington, 1979
B.S., Chemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1975

Career Highlights:
McGown began her faculty career as a pre-doctoral lecturer at Texas A&M University from 1978-79, and then as an assistant professor of chemistry at California State University, Long Beach from 1979-82. She then joined the Department of Chemistry at Oklahoma State University and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1985. She left O.S.U. in 1987 to join the faculty at Duke University where she remained until coming to Rensselaer as professor and department head from 2004-2009. In 2006, she was appointed to the William Weightman Walker Chair in Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

A frequent public speaker, McGown has offered dozens of presentations at universities and conferences throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe. She has authored or co-authored over 100 refereed journal publications and more than 200 conference presentations. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) since 2001, McGown received the Gold Medal Award from the New York Section of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy in 1994. She has served on numerous panels and committees including the National Institutes of Health Bioanalytical Engineering and Chemistry Study Section and the Analytical and Physical Chemistry Grant Selection Committee of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. She served as program co-chair for the 1996 Federation of Analytical, Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS) Meeting in Austin and is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Frederick Conference on Capillary Electrophoresis/Proteomics. She has served on the editorial boards of several journals including Chemical and Engineering News, Analytical Chemistry, and Applied Spectroscopy.

Research Areas:
McGown’s research projects fall into several broad categories, including biomaterials, nanotechnology, affinity techniques, bioseparations, genomic DNA and prebiotic chemistry. Techniques employed in her research include fluorescence, ultraviolet-visible absorption and circular dichroism spectroscopies, capillary electrophoresis and electrochromatography, MALDI-mass spectrometry, and imaging.

Current research interests in the McGown group include design and applications of guanosine gels, solubilization and manipulation of carbon nanotubes, affinity MALDI-mass spectrometry, aptamers, the role of genomic G-quadruplex DNA in human diseases such as diabetes and cancer, prebiotic RNA synthesis and astrobiology.

Representative Publications

Burcar, B.T., Barge, L.M., Trail, D., Watson, E.B., Russell, M.J., McGown, L.B.*, RNA Oligomerization in Laboratory Analogues of Alkaline Hydrothermal Vent Systems, Astrobiology, 15, 509-22 (2015).

Burcar, B.T., Jawed, M., Shah, H., and McGown, L.B.*, In Situ Imidazole Activation of Ribonucleotides for Abiotic RNA Oligomerization Reactions, Orig Life Evol Biosph., 45, 31-40 (2015).

Gupta, A.P., Taylor, W., McGown, L.B., Kempf, J.G.*, NMR Studies of the Chiral Selectivity of Self-Assembled Guanosine monophosphate, J Phys Chem B, 118, 14243-56 (2014).

Cassidy, L.M., Burcar, B.T., Stevens,, W., Moriarty, E.M., McGown, L.B.*, Guanine-centric Self Assembly of Nucleotides in Water: An Important Consideration in Prebiotic Chemistry, Astrobiology, 10, 876-86 (2014).       

Yu, Y.; Pushparaj, V.L.; Nalamasu, O.; McGown, L.B.*, G-Quadruplex Guanosine Gels and Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes, Molecules, 18, 15434-15447 (2013).

Burcar, B.T., Cassidy, L.M., Moriarty, E.M., Joshi, P.C., Coari, K.M., McGown, L.B.*, Potential Pitfalls in MALDI-TOF MS Analysis of Abiotically-Synthesized RNA Oligonucleotides, Orig Life Evol Biosph, 43, 247-261 (2013).

Zhang, X., McGown, L.B.*, Sequence-based Separation of Single-Stranded DNA by using Nucleotides in Capillary Electrophoresis: Focus on Phosphate, Electrophoresis, 34, 1778-1786 (2013).

Zhang, T., Zhang, H., Wang, Y., McGown, L.B.*, Capture and Identification of Proteins that Bind to a GGA-Rich Sequence from the ERBB2 Gene Promoter Region, Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 404, 1867-1876 (2012).

Dong, Y., McGown, L.B.*, Chiral Selectivity of Guanosine Media in Capillary Electrophoresis, Electrophoresis, 32, 1735-41 (2011).

Dong, Y., McGown, L.B.*, Incorporation of Guanosine Gels into Sieving Matrices for Length- and Sequence-Based Separation of DNA in Capillary Electrophoresis, Electrophoresis, 32, 1209-16 (2011).

Cassidy, L.M., Dong, Y., Joshi, P.C., Aldersley, M.F., Ferris, J.P., McGown, L.B.*, Signal Enhancement of Abiotically-Synthesized RNA Oligonucleotides and other Biopolymers using Unmodified Fused Silica in MALDI-MS, J. Am. Soc. Mass. Spectrom., 22, 1100-1104 (2011).

Xiao, J.F., McGown, L.B.*, DNA-Modified ITO Surfaces for Affinity MALDI-MS, Anal. Methods, 2, 1160–1165 (2010).

Xiao, J.F., McGown, L.B.*, Mass Spectrometric Determination of ILPR G-quadruplex Binding Sites in Insulin and IGF-2, J. Am. Soc. Mass. Spectrom., 20, 1974-82 (2009).

Wang, Y., Zhang, H., Ligon, L.A., McGown, L.B.*, Association of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 2 with the Insulin-Linked Polymorphic Region in Cultured Fetal Thymus Cells”, Biochem., 48, 8189-94 (2009).

Xiao, J.F., Carter, J., Frederick, K.A., McGown, L.B.*, A Genome-Inspired DNA Ligand for Affinity Capture of Insulin and Insulin-like Growth Factor-2, J. Sep. Sci., 32, 1654-1664 (2009).

Yu, Y., Nakamura, D.T., DeBoyace, K., Neisius, A.W., McGown, L.B.*, Tunable Thermoassociation of Binary Guanosine Gels, J. Phys. Chem. B, 112, 1130-1134 (2008).

Case, W.S., Glinert, K.D., LaBarge, S., McGown, L.B.*, Guanosine Gel for Sequence-Dependent Separation of Polymorphic ssDNA, Electrophoresis, 28, 3008-3016 (2007).

Cole, J.R., Dick Jr., L.W., Morgan, E.J., McGown, L.B.*, Affinity Capture and Detection of Immunoglobulin E in Human Serum using an Aptamer-Modified Surface in Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry, Anal. Chem., 79, 273-279 (2007).

Connor, A.C., Frederick, K.A., Morgan, E.J., McGown, L.B.*, Insulin Capture by an Insulin-linked Polymorphic Region G-Quadruplex DNA Oligonucleotide, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 128, 4986-91 (2006).

Vo, T.U., McGown, L.B.*, Thermally Enhanced Resolution of Fibrinogen Peptides using a G-Quartet Stationary Phase in Capillary Electrochromatography, Electrophoresis, 27, 749-56 (2006).

Connor, A.C., McGown, L.B.*, Aptamer Stationary Phases for Protein Capture in Affinity Capillary Chromatography, J. Chromatogr. A, 1111, 115-119 (2006).


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