Cindy Linn

Cindy Linn
Professor of Biological Sciences
Office: 
(269) 387-5615
Location: 
3165 Wood Hall, Mail Stop 5410
Mailing address: 
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5410 USA
Teaching interests: 
  • Animal physiology
  • Biology of sensory systems
  • First-Year Experience
  • Human physiology
Research interests: 
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Glaucoma and retina
  • Neurophysiology
Bio: 

Dr. Cindy Linn is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Western Michigan University.

Linn is a neurophysiologist whose interests concern the cellular mechanisms involved in visual processing in the vertebrate retina. A major focus in her lab deals with neuroprotection against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity using an in vitro model of glaucoma. In the in vitro studies, adult pig retinal ganglion cells are isolated from other retinal neurons and cultured under excitotoxic-inducing conditions. Studies in the lab have identified a number of a7 acetylcholine receptor agonists that prevent retinal ganglion cells from dying under excitotoxic conditions. The mechanisms associated with excitotoxicity and neuroprotection against excitotoxocity are analyzed using a combination of pharmacological, immunocytochemical, electrophysiological and ELISA techniques.

In addition to in vitro studies, a rat model of glaucoma has been developed in adult Long Evans rats to analyze the effects of neuroprotective agents on retinal ganglion cell survival under physiological conditions. In this model, glaucoma is induced in one eye of adult rats and potential neuroprotective agents are introduced to the retina to determine if introduction of these agents to the retina prevents the loss of retinal ganglion cells that is normally associated with glaucoma. Other studies are analyzing risk factors associated with the glaucoma-induced condition. Studies from Linn's lab are funded by the National Institute of Health.

Students in Linn's laboratory

  • Joseph Barnett,  undergraduate student
  • John Christie, M.S. graduate student
  • Cynthia Gossman, Ph.D. graduate student
  • Gregory Hensen, undergraduate student
  • Liberty Mehler, undergraduate student
  • Jessica Vainner, undergraduate student
  • Mark Webster, Ph.D. graduate student

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