by Buck Institute

Buck Institute Names Malene Hansen as Chief Scientific Officer

The Buck Institute for Research on Aging is pleased to announce the appointment of Malene Hansen PhD to the position of Professor and Chief Scientific Officer. She will begin her transition to the Buck on February 1, 2021 and fully assume the position effective August 1, 2021.

In this role, and in conjunction with Eric Verdin, MD, Buck President and Chief Executive Officer, Hansen will be responsible for providing leadership and guiding the strategic scientific direction of the Institute. She will also oversee research operations, faculty development, postdoc and student mentoring, and internal and external collaborations in support of this strategy.

“We couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Malene to the Buck,” says Verdin. “She is an extraordinary scientist with the background, vision, and skills necessary to enhance our leadership position in the field of research on aging and to accelerate our mission. Malene will play a critical role in leading our faculty and in enhancing our postdoctoral and graduate programs. She will also be a critical component of our relationships with academic institutions, biotech and pharmaceutical industry collaborators, and philanthropic supporters.”

Hansen comes to the Buck from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute where she is a professor in the Development, Aging and Regeneration Program. She is also associate dean of Student Affairs at Sanford Burnham Prebys’ Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, faculty adviser of Postdoctoral Training, and director of the Research and Development Core at San Diego’s Nathan Shock Center. Hansen is a global leader in the field of research on aging, and she is currently the chair of the National Institutes of Health’s Cellular Mechanisms of Aging and Development Study Section.

Hansen holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Copenhagen, and completed additional training at the University of North Carolina and Scripps Research. Prior to joining Sanford Burnham Prebys, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular genetics in the lab of Cynthia Kenyon PhD, while at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

“I am truly excited to join the Buck, not only because our field is at an inflection point for breakthrough discoveries that may help extend healthspan, but especially because I look forward to working with the terrific team of scientists and leadership there,” says Hansen. Her lab works to understand the molecular mechanisms that affect the process of aging using a combination of genetic, cytological and biochemical approaches, with a particular focus on the relationship between the cellular recycling process autophagy and aging.

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

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