by Buck Institute
November 18, 2016 . Press Release
BUCK ANNOUNCES NEW CEO AND $10 MILLION IN GIFTS TO FUEL GROWTH
The Buck Institute for Research on Aging today announced the appointment of a new President and Chief Executive Officer and $10 million in pledged gifts from the Institute’s Board of Trustees, the largest single collective gift in the Institute’s history.
The two events position the Buck to reach new heights in aging research and discovery of novel therapeutic interventions. The funding also facilitated the hiring of Eric M. Verdin, MD, a world-renowned expert on aging research, as the Institute’s permanent President and Chief Executive Officer, as well as providing significant support for the hiring of additional faculty, investments in infrastructure upgrades to laboratories and equipment, and capital to invest in and stimulate new scientific collaborations.
“Today marks a true milestone at the Buck and an incredible investment in our future,” said Larry Rosenberger, chair of the Board of Trustees. “The appointment of Eric to head this Institute reinforces our position as a leading player on the world’s scientific stage, and will enable us to expand upon the Buck’s global leadership in Geroscience. I would characterize the $10 million funding commitment by our Board of Trustees and the hiring of Eric as the basis for creating our future.”
Dr. Verdin joins the Buck from the Gladstone Institute for Virology and Immunology, where he served as Associate Director and Senior Investigator, focusing on the role of metabolism and diet in aging and on the chronic diseases of aging, including Alzheimer’s. Dr. Verdin is also a Professor of Medicine at UCSF. His laboratory has focused on key proteins that play a central role in linking caloric restriction to increased healthspan and lifespan. Dr. Verdin has published more than 210 scientific papers and holds more than 15 patents. He is a highly cited scientist (top 1%) and has been recognized for his research with a Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging and a senior scholarship from the Ellison Medical Foundation. He is an elected member of several prestigious scientific organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (elected fellow), the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He serves on the Advisory Council of NIDA at the National Institutes of Health.
A native of Belgium, he received his Doctorate of Medicine (MD) from the University of Liege and additional clinical and research training at Harvard Medical School. He has held faculty positions at the University of Brussels, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Picower Institute for Medical Research.
“I am honored to be named the President and CEO of the Buck Institute,” Dr. Verdin said. “I have enormous admiration, respect and belief in the ability of the Buck and its scientists to lead the science and change the course of aging. The nation’s first independent research organization focused solely on the connection between aging and chronic disease should also be the world’s preeminent institute for scientists and scientific collaboration. With the support of the entire Buck community – trustees, donors, faculty, staff, volunteers, and our community at large – we plan to make a major contribution to extending the healthy years of life.”
Edward Lanphier, the Institute’s interim President and CEO, will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees, as Chair of the Finance Committee, and as an advisor to Dr. Verdin. “This remarkable combination of events can only be characterized as incredibly fortuitous,” Lanphier said. “As is to be expected, the Buck Board has been actively evaluating strategies to put the Buck on a stronger financial footing. The generous $10 million in pledges from our Trustees, combined with Eric’s passion for and knowledge of our science and our mission, all came together to create an outcome that will launch the Buck into a new era of aging research.”
Rosenberger added that growth and scaling of the Buck’s operations in Marin will remain a strategic priority. “Our vision of increasing the healthy years of life and our potential to find therapies for such devastating illnesses as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s will increase exponentially with the right combination of great science, great leadership, a collaborative culture and financial support. Today, we have taken a major step forward for the Buck and for the aging populations around the world whom we ultimately serve,” Rosenberger said.
Science is showing that while chronological aging is inevitable, biological aging is malleable. There's a part of it that you can fight, and we are getting closer and closer to winning that fight.
Eric Verdin, MD, Buck Institute President and CEO