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John Bucher Chosen to Head NTP

By Eddy Ball
July 2007

John Bucher
NTP Associate Director John Bucher was able to celebrate two pieces of good news on June 15 - his appointment as associate director and the birth of his first grandchild. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

On June 15, NIEHS announced the appointment of toxicologist John Bucher, Ph.D., as associate director of the National Toxicology Program (NTP). Bucher has been a part of the NTP for 24 years, most recently as deputy director of the Environmental Toxicology Program and chief of its Toxicology Operations Branch.

Selected from a group of 33 qualified applicants for the position, Bucher began his new duties on June 18, as the program started a process of realignment within the Institute's Division of Intramural Research (DIR). He succeeds Allen Dearry, Ph.D., who served as acting associate director from January 2006 to June 2007.

In announcing the choice, NIEHS Director and Director of the NTP David A. Schwartz, M.D., praised Bucher as a scientist with "outstanding scientific credentials, an insightful vision for toxicological research and an in-depth knowledge of the NTP." Schwartz expressed his confidence in Bucher's ability to realize the goals of the NTP Vision and Roadmap for the 21st century, which the new associate director was instrumental in developing.

Bucher joined the NTP in September 1983 after completing his Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Iowa and a postdoctoral fellowship at Michigan State University. He has served as chief of the Toxicology Operations Branch for the past 11 years and deputy director of the Environmental Toxicology Program since 1995. Bucher received his certification as a diplomate by the American Board of Toxicology in 1984.

During his tenure at NTP/NIEHS, Bucher has published over 100 studies in peer-reviewed journals and played a key role in shaping the program's research and policies, including comprehensive studies of dioxin and dioxin-like chemicals, chemicals that mimic estrogens and, more recently as one of the pioneers in the field, manufactured nanomaterials. Bucher's leadership was important in the development of the NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction.

"I look forward to working with our exceptionally talented staff and NTP partners to produce the quality data and scientific understanding necessary for the protection of public health and critical to the further evolution of the science of toxicology," said Bucher. "I am honored to follow in the footsteps of the truly outstanding individuals who have led this program in the past."

According to Schwartz, realignment of the NTP within DIR will help it achieve higher visibility and greater efficiency. "Our goal is to closely coordinate NTP and DIR research so we can make the most of our resources and have an even greater impact on safeguarding public health," Schwartz said.

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