sealPurdue News

November 1, 2001

Pharmacy Dean Rutledge to head Purdue's Discovery Park

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Charles O. Rutledge, the dean of Purdue's Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences, has been named program director of the university's new Discovery Park, effective immediately.

Charles O. Rutledge

Purdue so far has raised $45 million toward building the four centers planned for the $100 million Discovery Park, including $5 million from the state and the remainder from alumni. The Lilly Endowment has given nearly $26 million toward start-up costs. The park will include the Birck Nanotechnology Center, a bioscience/engineering center, an e-enterprises center and a center for entrepreneurship.

"Dean Rutledge is the ideal person to head Discovery Park," said Provost Sally Frost Mason. "He is a top researcher, and he has the excellent leadership and management skills needed for the job.

"He will oversee the activities in all four of the centers in Discovery Park, and the directors for each facility will report to him. As program director, he will manage the Lilly Endowment grant, make allocations, and help me decide what activities will be conducted there."

Rutledge, who has been dean since coming to Purdue in 1987, will serve half time as program director for Discovery Park and half time as dean until a successor is appointed. A national search for his successor as dean is under way.

He said he welcomes the challenges of providing leadership for Discovery Park.

"Discovery Park will not only be a place to conduct interdisciplinary research, but it will be a gathering place for faculty and students to present and discuss new research ideas as they occur on a daily basis," Rutledge said. "The research in Discovery Park will be a blend of studies that will advance science and those that will advance the economy by fostering entrepreneurship and facilitating electronic enterprises."

Mason said Discovery Park also will play a major role in the state's economy and that the new nanotechnology facility will position Indiana to become a national leader in the new scientific revolution that nanotechnology offers.

Just as antibiotics, the silicon transistor and plastics affected nearly every aspect of society in the 20th century, nanotechnology is expected to have profound influences in the 21st century.

Nanotechnology will have numerous applications in everything from super-small computers, spacecraft and microscopic machines, to tiny life-saving medical devices and a plethora of new materials.

Federal research spending for nanotechnology is expected to increase sharply in coming years. The facility will help Purdue attract millions of dollars of research money, as well as the best scientists, engineers and students. Construction on the nanotechnology building is expected to begin in July and be completed in the summer of 2004.

Discovery Park will cover an area bounded by State Street on the north, Nimitz Drive on the south, Airport Road on the west and South Intramural Drive on the east.

The bioscience/engineering center will support a variety of projects involving genomics, biomedical engineering and proteomic analysis.

The e-enterprises center will pull together a myriad of related new-technology activities on the campus, with a special focus on three core areas where Purdue has, or can develop, national leadership: network security and reliability; management of distributed e-enterprises, including database systems; and logistics and distribution of products and marketing of e-enterprises.

The center for entrepreneurship will nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of Purdue faculty and students by helping them build curriculum, research issues, conduct competitions and learn how engineering needs to incorporate business and social concerns.

"Discovery Park will provide an unusual opportunity for faculty to receive direct funding and infrastructure support for projects that are at the leading edge of the new sciences of the 21st century," Rutledge said. "It is important that we select particularly exciting research at the beginning so that we can demonstrate the success of the concept."

The research at Discovery Park also will benefit students, he said.

"This is a great time to be a student at Purdue, having the opportunity to participate in research projects that cross several traditional disciplines and enter brand new fields of investigation."

Rutledge holds a doctorate degree in pharmacology from Harvard University and a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the University of Kansas.

He came to Purdue from the University of Kansas, where he was professor and chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the School of Pharmacy from 1975-1987. While at Kansas, he also was associate director of the Center for Biomedical Research and held a joint position as professor of pharmacology at the Victoria College of Pharmacy in Victoria, Australia. He began his career as a faculty member at the University of Colorado's Department of Pharmacology in the School of Medicine.

Rutledge has served as president of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. He is a member of numerous professional organizations and a fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.

Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709,

Sources: Sally Frost Mason, (765) 494-9709,

Charles O. Rutledge, (765) 494-1368,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of Charles Rutledge is available at

Related Web sites:
Discover Purdue
Nanotechnology at Purdue

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