KALAMAZOO – Dr. Jack R. Luderer was named in May as executive director of Western Michigan University’s Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center.
Luderer, who has served as WMU’s vice president for research since 2002, was a key figure in securing state funding for the center two years ago and developing the center’s structure and business plan. He replaces Dr. Charles Nawrot, who was named to head the center in October but recently resigned to remain in California where he has lived for several years.
Dr. Judith I. Bailey, president of Western Michigan University, informed the University community of Luderer’s new post in a campus wide e-mail May 12. The decision to appoint Luderer to the position was made by the BRCC’s Board of Governors when it met last month. Both Luderer and Bailey serve on that board.
Nawrot’s decision to withdraw from the post, Bailey said, “left vacant a leadership position that is essential to the success of the BRCC and to the future of economic development in the state. The question then became how best to provide experienced leadership that would ensure the BRCC would continue to function smoothly with minimal disruption to its momentum.”
Luderer, she noted, “is not only thoroughly familiar with the creation of the BRCC, but highly regarded in the life sciences.”
To focus on his new role, Bailey said, Luderer has resigned as vice president for research, and WMU will immediately begin a national search for his replacement. The search committee will be led by Robert M. Beam, vice president for business and finance. Dr. Leonard Ginsberg, associate vice president for research, will assume administrative responsibility for WMU’s research area during the search.
Luderer first came to WMU in 2000 as associate vice president for research. Prior to joining the WMU administration, he was vice president of U.S. Medical Affairs at Pharmacia Corp., which is now part of Pfizer Inc. A licensed physician who has published more than 100 articles, abstracts and technical reports, Luderer came to Kalamazoo in 1984 to work for the Upjohn Co. He held several positions with that firm, including executive director of clinical pharmacology, vice president of clinical pharmacology and vice president of clinical development.
Before joining Upjohn, he was an assistant professor of medicine and pharmacology at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of Pennsylvania State University. Luderer earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He went on to earn a master’s degree in organic chemistry at Miami and a medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School.