Karlin was born 1936 in Philadelphia, PA. In 1957, he graduated
from Swarthmore College, where he majored in Mathematics and minored
in Chemistry and Physics. In 1962, he received a Ph.D from Rockefeller
University. His thesis title was “The inactivation of neurohypophyseal
hormones by the toad bladder.” From 1962 to 1965 he was a
postdoctoral trainee with David Nachmansohn at Columbia University,
College of Physicians and Surgeons, during which time he started
working on acetylcholine receptors and on acetylcholinesterase.
He has been at Columbia ever since, still working on acetylcholine
receptors. Currently he is Higgins Professor of Biochemistry and
Molecular Biophysics, Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, and Neurology
and Director of the Center for Molecular Recognition. He is a member
of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National
Academy of Sciences.