Linda Santschi

Linda is one of the founding members of CMB and acting Scientific Co-Director. She received both her M.S. (1998) and Ph.D. (2000) in the field of neurophysiology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.  Linda’s doctoral research focused on understanding the functional connectivity between brain cells and how changes in the patterns of electrical activity that are transmitted between nerve cells influence information processing and our ability to learn and remember information.  As a postdoctoral fellow in the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla California, Linda studied nervous system function from a developmental perspective, using a complement of tools borrowed from the fields of molecular biology and genetics. Her research focused on connectivity events that occur during nervous system development, before nerve cells are hard wired to receive and transmit electrical impulses. Using a model invertebrate system (Drosophila melanogaster), she employed a genetic engineering approach to study how specific molecular pathfinding signals instruct nerve cells to assemble into functionally linked circuits and networks. Linda’s fascination with vast, interconnected neural networks is rivaled by her fascination with the connectivity of biological systems at large, particularly marine systems and the remarkable interdependencies among the organisms within them. This notion figures prominently into Linda’s teaching philosophy and CMB’s program design.

While advancements in science and technology are key driving forces behind society’s progression, harmonizing with nature’s infrastructure to protect and learn from it is intimately connected to many of these advancements. Can we find a way back to a future where there is a reverence for nature and the interconnectedness of the planet … where this reverence and understanding helps to drive future innovation? Our nation’s leading scientists can profoundly impact high school science education by engaging young learners in discovery and the scientific process at its best (rigorous, experimental, and evidence-based), and by emphasizing the interdependencies between science and nature. We need to teach science scientifically at earlier (and formative) stages of academic development. The sooner young learners realize that information crucial to answering their questions will not be neatly packaged in a particular textbook or format, the sooner they will become confident in their ability to perform in scientific settings and begin developing the skills needed to become our future leaders.

Licenses and Certifications

United States Coast Guard (USCG) licensed Captain, Master of Steam and Motor Vessels, 100 Gross Ton, with Sailing and Towing Endorsements

Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) certified Rescue Diver (0507059541)

Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) Certified Wilderness Emergency First Response (WMA ID: 04-5175)

Maritime Institute Shipboard Emergency First Aid and CPR USCG Approved (204667)

Selected Publications

Sakurai M., Aoki T., Yoshikawa S., Santschi L.A., Saito H., Endo K., Ishikawa K., Kimura K., Ito K., Thomas J.B., Hama C. (2009). Differentially expressed Drl and Drl-2 play opposing roles in Wnt5 signaling during Drosophila olfactory system development. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 4972-4980.

Santschi L.A. and Stanton, P.K. (2006).  Activation of receptors negatively coupled to adenylate cyclase is required for induction of long-term synaptic depression at schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses.  Journal of Neurobiology, 66, 205-219.

Santschi L.A. and Stanton, P.K. (2003).  A paired-pulse facilitation analysis of long-term synaptic depression at excitatory synapses in rat hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions.  Brain Research, 962, 78-91.

Santschi L.A., Reyes-Harde, M. and Stanton P.K. (1999).  Chemically induced, activity-independent LTD elicited by simultaneous activation of PKG and inhibition of PKA.  Journal of Neurophysiology, 82, 1577-1589.

Gross, R.E., Mehler, M.F., Mabie, P.C., Zang, Z., Santschi L.A. and Kessler, J.A. (1996).  Bone morphogenetic proteins promote astroglial lineage commitment by mammalian subventricular zone progenitor cells.  Neuron, 17, 595-606.

Personal Interests

The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them. - Albert Einstein

Sapere aude!

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