Linda B. McGown

Professor, William Weightman Walker Chair, Chemistry and Chemical Biology

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 130 refereed journal research publications, over thirty reviews, book chapters and monographs. She and her group have presented several hundred 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 and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS) Meeting in Austin and she is a member of the Scientific Committee for the Latin-American Symposium on Biotechnology, Biomedical, Biopharmaceutical and Industrial Applications of Capillary Electrophoresis and Microchip Technology (LACE). She has served on the editorial boards of several journals including Chemical and Engineering News, Analytical Chemistry, Analytical Chimica Acta, and Applied Spectroscopy.


Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Washington, 1979 

B.S., Chemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1975

Research Focus
  • Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • Astrobiology
  • Bioseparations
  • Aptamers and related affinity reagents
  • Molecular self-assembly
  • G-quadruplex DNA and cancer
Select Works
  • Zhang, X., McGown, L.B.*, Sequence-Based Separation of Single-Stranded DNA at High Salt Concentrations in Capillary Zone Electrophoresis, Electrophoresis, 37, 2017-24 (2016).
  • 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).
  • Yu, Y.; Pushparaj, V.L.; Nalamasu, O.; McGown, L.B.*, G-Quadruplex Guanosine Gels and Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes, Molecules, 18, 15434-15447 (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).
  • 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).
  • 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).