Timeline

1991 In a major report "Extending Life, Enhancing Life, a National Research Agenda on Aging", the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for the establishment of at least 10 Centers of Excellence to undertake the multi-disciplinary study of aging.

1996 – Construction of the Buck Institute for Age Research begins. Throughout the planning period, a prestigious Board of Scientific Advisors advised the Institute on its initial scientific program.

1998 Upon the Board of Trustee's recommendation and after a nationwide search, an eminent neuroscientist, Dale Bredesen, MD, was chosen as first President and CEO. Five initial faculty members were recruited to establish a multidisciplinary approach to age research. Two state-of-the-art scientific cores were established focusing on the technology of research - Morphology and Genomics.

September 1999 Faculty member H. Michael Ellerby identifies "Hunter - Killer Peptides", a new target for cancer therapies. This study is the cover story in the journal Nature Medicine.

September 30, 1999 The Buck Institute officially opens its doors, the first research facility in the country to respond to the IOM's call for research centers focused on aging and age-related diseases. The Institute holds its Inaugural Scientific Symposium on Aging, featuring Nobel Laureate Dr. Stanley Prusiner. 

June 2000 The Institute begins the Summer Scholars Program, which brings high school and college students to the facility to undertake hands-on work in laboratories. 

September 2000 Buck scientists Simon Melov, PhD, and Gordon Lithgow PhD, report the first successful use of drugs to extend life span in an animal model. The ground-breaking study, reported in Science, involves the use of antioxidants in the nematode worm C. elegans. 

Fall 2000 The second phase of recruitment begins with four additional faculty members joining the Institute. A state-of-the-art Chemistry core is added. 

December 2000 Dale Bredesen MD is lead author identifying "paraptosis" as an alternative form of cell death in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The finding sheds new light on Alzheimer's disease and related conditions. 

September 2001 The Office of Technology Transfer is established. The office is responsible for the protection of intellectual property (scientific discoveries) through patents or copyright and marketing these inventions to the private sector for the benefit of the Institute and its investigators, as well as the public benefit. 

May 2002 Buck Institute receives its first training grant from National Institute on Aging; this grant recognizes the ability of the Institute and its faculty to train future researchers on aging. 

June 2002 Researcher Lisa Ellerby, PhD publishes a major study in the Journal of Neuroscience involving a new understanding of how damage occurs in the brains of Huntington's disease patients. 

October 2002 A Joint Breast Cancer Symposium is held at Buck Institute, focusing on the Bay Area and geographic variations in breast cancer incidence. 

December 2002 Julie Andersen, PhD, receives federal funds to explore the relationship between Parkinson's disease and environmental factors. 

March 2003 Buck scientist Julie Andersen, PhD links iron to Parkinson's disease in the cover story of the journal Neuron. 

April 2003 Researcher Gordon Lithgow, PhD, links a stress management protein to longevity in a study published in Aging Cell. This landmark study demonstrates how lifespan can be extended by maintaining protein shape. 

May 2003 Chris Benz, MD publishes "Geographic Excess of Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer", revealing that breast cancers that grow in response to estrogen account for the excess of cases in Marin. 

June 2003 – The Institute hosts the National Institutes on Aging-funded five-day Annual Summer Training Course in Experimental Aging Research. 

August 2003 - Brad Gibson, PhD, publishes an article in Nature Biotechnology that describes a new way of identifying proteins. 

July 2004 – David Nicholls, PhD, develops a way to measure the respiration of cells in a culture dish. His findings are reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. 

August 2004 Dale Bredesen MD, and Adjunct Professor, Patrick Mehlen, PhD, identify a "Jekyll-Hyde" cancer gene which can block or cause cancer, depending on its environment. The study, published in Nature, provides a new avenue for cancer research and potential treatments.

September 30, 2004 The Institute holds its first “gala” celebration at the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco. The event is sold out before invitations are mailed. Jack Rowe, MD, CEO of Aetna is one of the co-chairs. He was among the eight geriatric specialists who recommended the establishment of the Institute in 1985.

October 2004 New faculty member Pankaj Kapahi, PhD, arrives at the Institute to continue his studies of lifespan extension and caloric restriction in the fruit fly. Two adjunct professors are appointed to the faculty: Thomas Johnson, PhD, Professor of Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado in Boulder, is widely recognized as the "father of genetic aging research", having discovered the first genetic mutation (in the nematode C. elegans) linked to the aging process. Patrick Mehlen, PhD, a researcher at France's National Center for Scientific Research and at the University of Lyon, recently authored a study appearing in Nature magazine which identified a new type of cancer gene.

December 2004 David Greenberg, MD, PhD, shows the birth of new nerve cells is increased in patients with Alzheimer's disease in a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study results contradicted the commonly held belief that neurogenesis diminishes with the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

February 2005 New faculty member Robert Hughes, PhD, joins the Institute. Utilizing yeast as a research model, he will study chemical biology and the genetics of longevity and neurodegeneration.

June 2005 The National Institute on Aging designates the Buck Institute as a "Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Biology of Age Research", one of just five in the nation.

July 2005 James Kovach, MD, JD joins the Buck Institute as President and Chief Operating Officer. Kovach replaces Executive Vice President Carla Dingillo who retired after a 35-year career in research administration.

September 2005 Xianmin Zeng, PhD, joins the Buck Institute faculty. A human embryonic stem cell scientist who worked at the National Institutes of health, Dr. Zeng studies the use of dopamine-producing neurons as a potential treatment for Parkinson's disease.

November 2005 - The Buck Institute is ranked among the "15 Best Places to Work in Academia" in a national survey conducted by The Scientist magazine.

December 2005 Buck Faculty member Lisa Ellerby publishes a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that the use of a well-known human growth factor promotes new neuron growth and increases lifespan in a mouse model of Huntington's disease.

February 2006 The Buck Institute launches the public phase of its first capital campaign to raise funds for a lab expansion project.

February 2006 – Dr. Jan Vijg, internationally-renowned aging/cancer researcher joins the Institute as a faculty member.

February 2006 – The Buck Institute celebrates its first patent, awarded to Dr. Dale Bredesen and others for "Modulators of Paraptosis and Related Methods".

April 2006 The Institute announces the successful completion of its $9.3 million dollar capital campaign along with the establishment of the Larry L. Hillblom Center for Integrative Studies of Aging.

April 2006 – The Bredesen lab publishes a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which provides a new look at Alzheimer's disease. The study is based on mice, genetically bred to have Alzheimer's, that have normal memories despite the presence of amyloid plaques in their brains.

June 2006 – The Lithgow lab publishes a paper in Science which shows that proteins linked to cancer prevention in humans affect aging in worms. The study suggests a new avenue of inquiry into aging as a risk factor for cancer.

June 2006 The Andersen lab publishes a paper in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, which suggests a need to reexamine iron content in human infant formula. The study showed that neonatal mice fed the equivalent amount of iron used in human infant formula develop Parkinson's-like neurodegeneration as they age.

June 2006 The Vijg lab publishes a study in Nature providing the first molecular evidence that some aspects of aging are out of our control.

July 2006 Remy Gross III is hired as the Buck Institute's first Director of Business Development.

August 2006 The Greenberg lab publishes a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which shows that newborn neurons may promote stroke recovery in human beings. The research provides new therapeutic targets for drugs that might boost the brain's ability to heal itself.

September 2006 Buck Institute faculty member, Chris Benz, MD, in partnership with epidemiologists from the Marin Department of Health and Human Services, helps officially launch the county-wide Marin Women’s Study. The Buck Institute became the secured home repository for biospecimens contributed by women enrolling in the MWS.

November 2006 The Andersen lab publishes a paper in the Journal of Neuroscience showing inflammation is a culprit in animal models of Parkinson's disease.

January 2007 The Buck Institute receives a $1.7 million grant from the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation to establish the "Hillblom Chemical Biology of Aging Network". The effort, involving the Lithgow, Melov, Kapahi and Hughes labs, as well as outside collaborators, will focus on chemical screening of 120,000 compounds to see which ones positively impact lifespan. The first screenings will be done with yeast and nematode worms. "Successful" compounds will then be tested in fruit flies and mice.

February 2007 E. Lewis Reid is chosen to chair Buck Institute Board of Trustees.

May 2007 A landmark study by the Hughes lab identifies a large number of new proteins associated with Huntington's disease. The study appears in PLoS Genetics.

May 2007 The Melov lab publishes a major study in PLoS One showing that strength training exercise reverses aging in human skeletal tissue. The study involved healthy seniors who underwent a twice weekly exercise regimen for six months.

June 2007 The Buck Institute receives $4.1 million from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to build a shared research laboratory, enabling scientists from the greater Bay area to be trained in the culture and use of human embryonic stem cells. The new lab will be built on the 4th floor of the administration building.

September 2007 The Institute is awarded a $25 million "Roadmap" award from the National Institutes of Health to establish a new field of research called "Geroscience", which will focus on the intersection of aging and chronic disease. It is one of only nine "Roadmap" awards granted in the country and is designed to address critical health issues that have not responded to traditional research.

October 2007 The Lithgow lab publishes a paper in the Journal of Biological Chemistry showing that the drug lithium, which is used to treat bi-polar disorder in humans, extends the lifespan of nematode worms.

December 2007 "Forum" - the popular talk show hosted by Michael Krasny on KQED-FM broadcasts live from the Drexler auditorium. Buck faculty members Dale Bredesen, Gordon Lithgow and Judy Campisi take part in the discussion.

December 2007 The Buck Institute announces its first collaborative research agreement, with Neurobiological Technologies, Inc., based in Emeryville. The Buck and NTI will partner to develop a new treatment for Huntington's disease.

January 2008 Former NIH scientist Mahendra Rao, PhD, joins the Buck as an adjunct faculty member. Rao, known internationally as an embryonic stem cell scientist will open a lab at the Institute and will spend two to three days here each month.

February 2008 The Andersen lab published a study in PLoS One identifying possible risk factors for Parkinson's disease.

February 2008 The Buck Institute announces a senior management change. Dale Bredesen will discontinue his duties as CEO to spend time on a private start up company. He will remain a faculty member at the Buck, continuing his research in Alzheimer's disease.

April 2008 Victoria Lunyak, PhD joins the Buck Institute faculty, establishing a program in epigenetics at the institute.

May 2008 CIRM, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awards the Buck $20.5 million in seed money to build a new facility for stem cell research. The new facility would be the 2nd research building to be constructed on the campus.

June 2008 Martin Brand, PhD joins the Buck Institute faculty. Brand, internationally known for his research on mitochondria, establishes a research program focused, in part, on diabetes.

July 2008 Buck Institute receives $1.5 million from Keck Foundation to study aging as causal factor for disease.

September 2008 Research from the Lithgow lab appears in Experimental Gerontology. The study shows mixed results for life-extending properties of antioxidants.

November 2008 The Melov lab publishes a study in Aging Cell showing the first use of biomarkers of aging to predict both chronological and physiological age.

December 2008The Campisi lab unravels the “dark side” of the tumor suppressing process in a study in PLoS Biology. The findings show that the process that suppresses tumors in younger people also drives the aging process in older individuals.

February 2009 - Research from the Bredesen lab in the Nature publication Cell Death and Differentiation establishes a revolutionary new model for Alzheimer's disease; the discovery of a naturally occurring brain protein, Netrin-1 provides a target for new therapeutics.

March 2009 – The Hughes lab publishes a study in PLoS Genetics showing that aging pathways of invertebrates and humans have more in common than expected. The research, involving a large scale human protein network indicated that longevity proteins are highly connected hubs involved in complex cellular functions.

April 2009 Sean Mooney, PhD, joins the Buck Institute faculty. Mooney will direct the Institute’s Bioinformatics program and continue his own research in computational biology.

May 2009 – In research published in PLoS Genetics, Buck faculty Pankaj Kapahi, PhD, identifies a key protein that may explain the anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits of dietary restriction.

July 2009 Dr. Dale Bredesen receives a $1.6 million dollar “Eureka” grant from the National Institutes of Health to further innovative research in Alzheimer’s disease. The highly competitive grant stands for Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration.

July 2009 – Buck faculty member Judith Campisi, PhD, publishes a paper in Nature Cell Biology showing that DNA damaged cells communicate with neighboring cells to let them know they are in trouble.

July 2009 The Institute is awarded $970,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The two-year grant, hopefully the first of many, will fund research in the lab of Associate Research Professor Kun Lin Jin, MD, PhD. The work will focus on the function of newborn neurons in aged brains following stroke.

September 2009 – Pankaj Kapahi, PhD, publishes a study in Cell which shows that an “anti-Atkins” low protein diet extends lifespan in fruit flies.”

December 2009 – The Buck Institute is awarded $1.6 million from CIRM, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The grant will fund training in regenerative medicine for six postdoctoral fellows.

January 2010 – Catherine H. Munson is elected to chair the Buck Institute Board of Trustees. Ms. Munson is CEO of Lucas Valley Properties, a leading Marin real estate company.

February 2010 – Buck faculty member Sean Mooney, PhD, heads a study appearing in Human Mutation. The comprehensive study uses bioinformatics to predict the molecular causes of many genetic diseases.

April 2010  Mary McEachron assumes duties as the Buck Institute's interim Chief Operating Officer.

April 2010 – Buck faculty member David Greenberg, MD, PhD, publishes a paper in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which focuses on a potential treatment strategy for stroke.

May 2010 – The Kapahi lab publishes a study in Current Biology showing that fruit flies provide new clues on how organisms make dietary choices.

June 2010 Brian K. Kennedy, PhD, is appointed as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Buck Institute for Age Research. Kennedy, who has earned an international reputation for his work in the basic biology of aging, comes to the Buck Institute from the University of Washington in Seattle where he most recently served in the Department of Biochemistry. He got his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

July 2010 Research from the Ellerby lab is featured on the cover of Neuron. The study provides a leap forward in efforts to develop treatments for Huntington's disease, identifying new drug targets that already respond to existing cancer drugs.

August 2010 Scientists from the Zeng lab successfully use human induced pluripotent stems cells to treat Parkinson's disease in rodents. The study appears in Stem Cells.

August 2010 Buck Institute partners with BioMarin to expand early research on novel treatment for familial Alzheimer's disease.

October 2010 The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) awards the Zeng lab $6 million to get a stem cell derived treatment for Parkinson's disease ready for human clinical trials.

December 7, 2010 The Institute holds a major event, "Breaking New Ground" to thank CIRM for their support in the construction of a new facility for regenerative medicine research.

January 1, 2011 The Buck Institute adopts a new name: "The Buck Institute for Research on Aging."

January 2011 Retired San Francisco real estate developer Douglas Rosenberg invests $3.5 million to fund drug development efforts in the Bredesen lab. Rosenberg pledges to raise $10 million to find effective treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

March 2011 The Lithgow lab publishes a study in Nature. The study reveals that a common laboratory dye profoundly extends lifespan in nematode worms and slows the disease process in worms bred to have symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease.

April 2011 Arvind Ramanathan, PhD, joins the Buck Institute faculty as an Assistant Professor. Ramanathan's research focuses on the molecular physiology of skeletal muscle regeneration, aging and the formation of tumors.

June 1, 2011 The Buck Advisory Council holds its inaugural meeting on the Buck campus from June 1 - June 3. The BAC is a distinguished group of men and women from the United States and around the world dedicated to helping advance the Buck Institute’s scientific and educational mission.

June 2011  John W. "Jack" Rowe donates $1 million to the Buck. The gift, from the healthcare visionary who helped establish the Institute, was announced at the opening ceremony for the BAC.

June 2011 Buck faculty member Julie Andersen, PhD, publishes a study in the Journal of Neuroscience Research. The study showed that lithium profoundly prevented cell death associated with Parkinson's disease. The research in mice is moving into the preclinical phase, with an aim toward human clinical trials.

September 2011 The Buck Institute announces the addition of two new faculty members. Arvind Ramanathan, PhD, will focus on the molecular physiology of skeletal muscle. Deepak Lamba, PhD, studies degenerative eye diseases, including macular degeneration and glaucoma.

September 2011 Five new members join the Buck Institute Board of Trustees. They include Edward "Ned" Powell, Shahab Fatherazam, Linda Hothem, Barbara Morrison and Larry E. Rosenberger.

December 2011 the Kleiman Studio is opened at the Buck Institute. The state-of-the-art facility will be used for broadcast and video production projects.

December 2011 James M. Edgar is elected to Chair the Buck Institute Board of Trustees. Edgar, a long-time management consultant and community leader, joined the board in 2007.

February 2012 Buck faculty Simon Melov, PhD, is a co-author of a paper appearing in Science Translational Medicine. The study shows massage reduces inflammation and promotes the growth of new mitochondria following vigorous exercise.

March 2012 The Buck Scientific Symposium "Stem Cell Research and Aging" attracts a world-wide audience.

March 2012 Ambassador Fay Hartog Levin and E. Lewis Reid join the Buck Board of Trustees.

April 2012 The Buck opens its second research building on April 14. An open house to celebrate the Regenerative Medicine Research Center draws more than 1,000 people.

April 2012 Henri Jasper, PhD, joins the Buck faculty as a full professor. Jasper, who comes from the University of Rochester, is focused on enhancing stem cell function to promote longevity.

May 2012 The second Buck Advisory Council meeting is held at the Buck Institute. Economist Martin Scholes receives the scientific achievement award, Cinzia Akbaralay is recognized for her humanitarian contributions.

May 2012 The Greenberg lab publishes a study showing that modifying scar tissue promotes recovery in a rodent model of stroke. The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

June 2012 The Glenn Foundation awards the Buck $1 million to establish a fellowship program for postdoctoral fellows.

June 2012 Steven Burrill and Jim Gerber join the Buck Institute Board of Trustees.

June 2012 The Ellerby lab publishes a study in Cell Stem Cell, reporting that they corrected the genetic mutation responsible for Huntington's disease. The research involved human induced pluripotent stem cells in an animal model of the disease.

July 2012 The Kapahi lab publishes a study in Cell Metabolism, showing that physical activity is necessary for flies to reap the lifespan extending benefits of dietary restriction.

July 2012 The Buck Institute is featured in a story on longevity research that ran on the CBS Sunday Morning program. The story featured interviews with faculty member Gordon Lithgow and footage shot at the Buck Institute.

September 2012  The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) award faculty member Deepak Lamba, MBBS, PhD with $1.5 million to create a 3-D model of the retina. The model will enable novel studies of retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited degenerative disease which leaves most of its sufferers legally blind by age 40.

September 2012 The Benz lab collaborates with scientists at UC Santa Cruz to make a significant contribution to a landmark breast cancer study. They identify molecular pathways that are different among the four main breast cancer classes, as well as identify pathways common to one particularly aggressive class of breast cancer and an aggressive type of ovarian cancer.

October 2012 The Buck Institute announces its founding partnership with Delos Pharmaceuticals, a new company which develops human therapeutics for age-related diseases.

November 2012 Board member Arthur Gensler Jr. and his wife, Drucilla Cortell Gensler, donate $5 million. The gift is honored by naming the Institute’s administrative facility the “Arthur and Drue Gensler Building."

December 2012  Edward O. Lanphier III, Nathaniel “Ned” Eames David, PhD, and Richard “Dick” Bodman, join the Buck Institute Board of Trustees. They bring biotech, entrepreneurship, and venture capital expertise to the Buck Institute.

April 2013 - California's Stem Cell Bank will be housed at the Buck Institute

April 2013 - The Buck Institute opens its new Learning Center.

June 2013 - The Melov and Kennedy labs publish a paper in Aging Cell that shows the drug rapamycin reverses heart disease in elderly mice.

September 2013 - Pejmun Haghighi, PhD and Jennifer Garrison, PhD, join the Buck Institute faculty

September 2013 - Six new members appointed to Buck Institute Board of Trustees

October 2013 - The Bredesen lab published a paper in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's is linked to the protein group targeted by resveratro.

November 2013 - The Buck Institute and the University of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology launch the nation's first PhD Program in the Biology of Aging.

December 2013 - Charles Stockholm is appointed to the Board of Trustees

December 2013 - The Kapahi lab publishes a paper in Cell Reports showing a five-fold increase in lifespan by combining mutations in worms. The study gets mentioned on The Tonight Show.

February 2014 - Buck faculty Jennifer Garrison is named as a 2014 Sloan Research Fellow, an award by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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