Molecular Biologist Tapped to Head University of Idaho’s Northern Operations

Monday, March 7 2011

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho has appointed molecular biologist Charles R. Buck as the new associate vice president and center executive officer for northern Idaho-Coeur d’Alene. Buck is currently director of operations at Purdue University’s Bindley Bioscience Center. He takes up the Idaho post on June 26.

“As one of our three regional academic centers, the Coeur d'Alene campus requires a highly skilled individual to direct its extensive array of programs operated in the public interest," said M. Duane Nellis, University of Idaho president. “As Idaho's only land-grant university, we owe each region the best we can provide. That's why I'm excited about the selection of Charles Buck for this leadership position in northern Idaho. His work will be essential in building community relations; enhancing enrollment; assessing community needs; bridging to the public and private sectors; linking with our regional extension offices; facilitating research; and being a liaison with the main campus.”

At Purdue’s Bindley Bioscience Center, Buck has supported multi-disciplinary research and managed day-to-day operations of the center that ties academic scientific research expertise to economic development with the private sector. This includes organizing research grant initiatives, managing large-scale research projects and directing research services.

“Charles Buck is a remarkably good fit for the University of Idaho’s mission of teaching, research and outreach,” said Doug Baker, provost and executive vice president. “He brings an established record of multi-disciplinary research, funding acquisition and constituent-building. His distinctive background will help strengthen and guide how the university’s mission in northern Idaho is carried out.”

At the University of Idaho, Buck’s duties also will include coordinating operations of the university’s Research Park in Post Falls, in collaboration with the vice president for research and economic development.

"I’m excited by the opportunity to help the University of Idaho’s mission come alive in northern Idaho – it’s perfectly poised for innovative steps forward that will connect research and teaching with external constituents," said Buck. "With the talented team at the Coeur d’Alene center, local governments and business groups, and support from colleagues at the main campus, we will realize a vision for boosting economic activity and providing excellent educational and training opportunities for the region."

Buck’s leadership at Purdue has provided significant opportunities to grow the Bindley Center. He has been the lead author on more than a dozen significant center grant proposals, including a $15 million construction grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The funding positions the Bindley Center for a facility expansion to support multidisciplinary cancer and disease research.

A native of Caldwell, Idaho, Buck earned his bachelor of science degree from the College of Idaho and a doctorate in molecular neurobiology from Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences. Prior to the position at Purdue, which he accepted in 2004, he was the chief scientific officer for Oridis Biomed in Graz, Austria; an assistant professor of cell biology and anatomy at the Medical University of South Carolina; and an assistant professor of physiology at Emory University School of Medicine.

His research focuses on the molecular biology of vertebrate nervous system development and response to injury; he also studies Alzheimer’s disease, human liver diseases, bio-repository science and cancer. His research has been funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Paralysis Association and the European Commission.

His research has been published in numerous scholarly journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; Science; Open Proteomics Journal; Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; and Developmental Biology.

Buck succeeds interim AVP/CEO Richard Reardon, professor of psychology and associate dean for the university’s College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences based at Coeur d’Alene. Reardon succeeded long-time AVP/CEO Larry Branen, who retired.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year. The University of Idaho is classified by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation as high research activity. The student population of 12,000 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. For more information, visit