Michael Buck PhD

Michael Buck

Michael Buck

Associate Professor

Department of Biochemistry

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Specialty/Research Focus

Bioinformatics; Gene Expression; Genomics and proteomics; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Molecular genetics; Transcription and Translation

Contact Information
701 Ellicott St
Center Of Excellence in Bioinformatics
Room B3-304
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: (716) 881-7569

Professional Summary:

Instructions controlling cellular functions are contained within DNA that is wrapped and packaged around proteins into chromatin. Chromatin can be modified in response to the environment and these modifications can be passed onto their daughter cells. These modifications act as a cellular memory and are known as epigenetic modifications. Changes in epigenetic modifications are essential players in many disease pathways including: cancer, diabetes, obesity, and autism. Dr. Buck’s research is focused on uncovering how epigenetic changes redirect regulatory proteins and how regulatory proteins read epigenetic modifications. Dr. Buck’s laboratory uses multiple model systems to uncover fundamental biological principles which are subsequently translated to the study of human disease.

Epigenomics and Cancer

Epigenetic alterations have been associated with cancer-specific expression differences in development of human tumors. The ability to recognize and detect the progression of epigenetic events occurring during tumorigenesis is critical to developing strategies for therapeutic intervention. Key epigenetic alterations, leading to silencing or activation, are associated with changes in nucleosome occupancy. We use chromatin assays (FAIRE-seq, ATAC-seq, MNase-seq, and ChIP-seq) to examine cancer epigenomes from patient samples and cell line models.

Transcription factor binding specificity to chromatin.

To understand normal developmental processes and disease manifestation and progression we must understand the mechanisms regulating the essential first step of gene activation, transcription factor binding at regulatory regions. Using the developmental transcription factor TP63 we have begun to uncover the rules dictating p63 binding to chromatin. Our findings demonstrated that p63 functions has a pioneer transcription factor that can target it bindings site in closed inaccessible genomic locations. Current in vitro and in vivo studies are beginning to define the how nucleosome position and histone modifications regulate p63 binding.

Microbiota in human health

Our bodies are populated by a diverse and complex population of thousands of microbes, mostly bacteria, but also viruses, fungi and archaea, termed the human microbiota. This co-inhabiting microbial ecosystem has been associated with various human disease including colon cancer, diabetes, periodontal disease, and others. To understand how the microbiota is affecting human health we are participating in a large epidemiological study examining human oral microbiota samples. We have developed robust and reproducible high-throughput approaches to examine thousands of samples and we are currently defining causual relationships between the microbiota and human health.

Education and Training:

  • PhD, Genetics, North Carolina State University (2003)
  • BS, Biotechnology, Rutgers University, Cum Laude (1997)


  • Associate Professor, Biochemistry, State University of New York-Buffalo (2014-present)
  • Director, Stem Cell Sequencing/Epigenomics Center, The State University of New York at Buffalo (2011-present)
  • Member, Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (2008-present)
  • Member, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (2007-present)
  • Co-Director, Next-Generation Sequencing & Expression Analysis Core, The State University of New York at Buffalo (2010–2016)
  • Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, The State University of New York at Buffalo (2007–2014)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2003–2007)

UB 2020 Strategic Strengths:

  • Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems and Bioinformatics

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • July 2014–July 2019
    Oral microbiome and periodontitis: a prospective study in postmenopausal women
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • August 2011–July 2015
    Western New York Stem Cell Culture and Analysis Center
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • August 2010–July 2013
    Overlapping Clustering Analysis of Biological Networks
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • Epi)Genomic drivers of primary and metastatic pancreatic islet cell carcinoma
    National Institutes of Health
    Role: Co-Investigator

Journal Articles:

See all (39 more)


  • Jiao N, Baker SS, Chapa Rodriguez A, Liu W, Nugent CA, Tsompana M, Mastrandrea LD, Buck M, Baker RD, Genco RJ, Zhu R, Zhu L. Suppressed Hepatic Bile Acid Signaling Despite Elevated Production of Primary and Secondary Bile Acids in NAFLD. Gastroenterology. 2017; 152(5 S1).

School News:

In the Media:

Clinical Specialties:

Clinical Offices:

Insurance Accepted:

Contact Information

701 Ellicott St
Center Of Excellence in Bioinformatics
Room B3-304
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: (716) 881-7569