|National Toxicology Program Gets New Associate
John Bucher, Ph.D., will serve as the new associate director of
the National Toxicology Program (NTP), and will begin managing
the day-to-day operations of the program on June 18. The NTP is
an interagency program with the mission to coordinate, conduct
and communicate toxicological research across the U.S. government.
For 29 years, the NTP has evaluated chemicals and other agents
that may be damaging to human health. Through its extensive testing
program, the NTP has examined the safety of more than 2,500 substances.
In addition, the NTP prepares and issues the biennial Report on
Carcinogens, which so far has identified 246 cancer-causing agents
including substances like lead and diesel exhaust, and viruses
like Hepatitis B and C.
The NTP is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina,
at the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS),
one of the National Institutes of Health. David Schwartz, M.D.,
serves as the director of the NIEHS and the NTP.
“Dr. Bucher has outstanding scientific credentials, an insightful
vision for toxicological research, and an in-depth knowledge of
the NTP. I believe he is uniquely capable of moving the NTP forward
using the best and most innovative technologies to increase the
effectiveness and rate of testing chemicals,” said Schwartz. “Our
goal for the NTP is to closely coordinate its work with the NIEHS
in-house research on environmental health so that we can make the
most of our resources and have an even greater impact on safeguarding
Bucher was selected from 33 applicants. A 14-member search committee
conducted a national recruitment and selected four finalists. After
a series of interviews at NIEHS, Bucher was offered the job.
Bucher joined the NTP team as a toxicologist 24 years ago and
since then has played a key role in shaping the program’s research
and policies. Bucher oversaw the development and evaluation of
several non-traditional testing methods including current efforts
with high throughput automated screening. He promoted NTP’s comprehensive
studies of dioxin and dioxin-like chemicals, chemicals that mimic
estrogens, and more recently, manufactured nanomaterials. He organized
one of the first conferences to explore the field of nanotoxicology
and has advised congressional staff about this critically important
emerging area of science. Bucher provided oversight and guidance
for the development of the NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risks
to Human Reproduction. He also played a major role in developing
the NTP Vision and Roadmap for the 21st Century, a plan for toxicology
research to advance as a predictive science, building on the knowledge
gained from traditional single-agent studies in living organisms,
in vivo studies.
Bucher is an internationally recognized expert in the design and
interpretation of cancer bioassays, and has authored a number of
important publications examining critical issues in dose selection
for toxicology and cancer studies. He holds a doctorate in pharmacology
from the University of Iowa, a Master of Science in biochemistry
from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor
of Arts in biology from Knox College.
“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.”
Past associate directors of NTP include Christopher Portier, Ph.D.,
George Lucier, Ph.D., and Bernard Schwetz, D.V.M., Ph.D. NTP partners
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry/Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Food and Drug Administration
- National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- National Center for Environmental Health/CDC
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NIH
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/CDC
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
For more information about the NTP, visit http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/.
A note of thanks. The NIEHS wishes to recognize and thank Allen
Dearry, Ph.D., for his dedicated, professional and capable service
as interim associate director of NTP from January 2006 through
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is an interagency program
established in 1978 by the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare,
which today known as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The program was created as a cooperative effort to coordinate toxicology
testing programs within the federal government, strengthen the
science base in toxicology, develop and validate improved testing
methods, and provide information about potentially toxic chemicals
to health, regulatory, and research agencies, scientific and medical
communities, and the public.
The primary mission of the National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences (NIEHS), one of 27 Institutes and Centers at the
National Institutes of Health, is to reduce the burden of human
illness and disability by understanding how the environment influences
the development and progression of human disease. For additional
information, visit the NIEHS Web site at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/home.htm.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.