Gouaux has established an international reputation for his work to improve basic understanding of the molecular structure and function of proteins that regulate communication between neurons in the brain. Those proteins include the receptor involved in memory and learning, and the targets of therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as for schizophrenia and depression.
Gouaux completed his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry at Harvard University in 1984 and 1989, respectively. He then conducted postdoctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1993, Gouaux was appointed assistant professor at the University of Chicago Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In 1996, he joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Columbia University as an assistant professor. In 2000, he was appointed Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and associate professor with Columbia, reaching full professor status the following year. Gouaux came to OHSU in 2005 as a senior scientist in the Vollum Institute. He continues his position with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.