Iain Buxton was born in Buckinghamshire England in 1950 to David and Lesley Buxton who met in North Africa while both served in the Royal Air Force during WWII.
Iain emigrated from England to the United States in 1961 on the Queen Mary and grew up in California and attended the University of California, San Diego where he was an undergraduate research assistant with Dr. Gordon Sato whose research in hormone-dependent cell growth was important in our early understanding of breast cancer. Iain presented his first research paper at the age of nineteen.
After graduating from the University of California San Diego, Iain was appointed as research assistant at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla and worked in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Dr. Robert Holley exploring cellular growth control.
The years at the Salk were particularly influential on Iain who would attend Cancer Control Group meetings with Salk regulars Renato Dulbecco (Nobel 1975) and Roger Guillemin (Nobel 1977) and summer visitors like James Watson (Nobel 1962) and Gennard Matrone among many others. While a lowly research assistant at the time, these experiences were inspiring. Iain’s talents as an experimentalist were noticed by Gennard Matrone, Chair of Biochemistry at North Carolina State University in Raleigh who recruited Iain to come to the graduate program at NCSU for his PhD training in Biochemistry.
As a graduate student, Iain assisted in the first report of the purification of the cholinesterase enzyme critical to the regulation of the nervous system (Biochem J. 1974). By this time, Buxton’s research interests had made him acutely aware of the field of pharmacology, the study of the actions of drugs and chemicals on the human body. Buxton attended the University of the Pacific to study Pharmacology graduating in 1978. Dr. Buxton returned to San Diego where he was a clinical resident at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and later, Director of the Investigational Drug Studies program at the same institution. In 1981, Dr. Buxton joined the UCSD Department of Medicine, as a cardiology fellow.
In 1984, Dr. Buxton received a National Institutes of Health New Investigator Award (R23) and joined the faculty at the University of California San Diego as an Assistant Research Pharmacologist. In 1985, Dr. Buxton joined the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Nevada as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Buxton was immediately successful in Nevada and rose rapidly to become a tenured Associate professor in 1989 and Full professor in 1995. In 2008, Dr. Buxton was named UNR Outstanding Researcher of the Year and in 2011, was named Regents Professor. Today, Buxton is Foundation Professor and Chair of Pharmacology, jointly appointed in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology as Clinical Professor and a past member of the Integrated Clinical Services Board of Directors.
Most recently, Buxton founded ExCyte Therapeutics to move his intellectual property toward therapeutic development. Dr. Buxton has published numerous research articles and text book chapters. He is funded to conduct preclinical research in preterm labor and is internationally recognized for his research challenging the current dogma regarding the actions of nitric oxide in myometrial smooth muscle. With funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Dr. Buxton’s group at Nevada is pursuing studies to discover the regulation of protein nitrosations that signal uterine quiescence in women. These efforts are aimed at treatments that would prevent spontaneous preterm birth a potentially devastating outcome with no effective treatments that explains three-quarters of infant mortality and morbidity. In a parallel effort aimed at breast cancer, Buxton is addressing the problem of metastatic spread by examining the actions of exosomes to prime the metastatic niche.