Lynda S. (Plambeck) Cook '75

For the past 12 years, Lynda (Plambeck) Cook ’75 has worked to develop new drugs for Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). The knowledge base, focus and dedication to the lab that such work requires are things Cook developed at Nebraska Wesleyan over countless hours in Olin Hall.

Upon graduation in 1975, Lynda worked as a research technician in labs across the country: Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Omaha, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Penn State, and University of Connecticut Medical Center. She now works in BMS’s high-throughput screening department where she helps identify chemical substances with the potential to become future pharmaceuticals.

This hard science has human implications. Not long after joining BMS, Cook co-discovered what promises to become a leading leukemia drug: the precursor to Dasatinib (Sprycel) with Dr. Ramesh Padmanabha. This drug treats adults with chronic myeloid leukemia or Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblast leukemia who are resistant to or cannot tolerate imatinib (Gleevac), the only other approved drug. The Food and Drug Administration approved Dasatinib in June 2006.

Cook lives in Weatogue, Connecticut, with her husband, William ’74. William’s three siblings, mother, grandmother and numerous cousins all graduated from NWU. Lynda is also involved with the Farmington Valley Quilt Incorporation, a local quilt guild involved in a variety of charity organizations; and the Farmington Valley Trail Council.