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From Dr. Mark Israel: Transitions in Cancer Center Leadership

May 2008

During my tenure at Dartmouth, nothing has been more inspiring than the work of scientists who have stepped into demanding leadership roles and moved the Cancer Center forward through their diligence and aspirations for excellence of our Center. Thus, with both genuine regret and great enthusiasm, I announce leadership transitions in the basic sciences components of our Cancer Center.

As many of you know, Nancy Speck has accepted appointment as Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Investigator, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. beginning in August 2008. An outstanding biochemist and Dartmouth's James J. Carroll Professor in Oncology, Dr. Speck has been a steadfast and visionary member of our leadership team since 2000, when she founded the Cancer Mechanisms Research Program. Appointed Associate Director for Basic Sciences in 2003, she has established retreats with regional colleagues, mentored new leadership, and was key to planning our new laboratories in the Rubin Building and overseeing allocation of that space. I know many will join me in expressing our deep gratitude to Nancy and sincere best wishes for her continued success.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Charles Brenner as the new Associate Director for Basic Sciences. Dr. Brenner, Professor of Genetics and of Biochemistry, came to us in 2003 from Thomas Jefferson University's Kimmel Cancer Center, where he was Director of the Structural Biology and Bioinformatics Program. With wide-ranging accomplishments in cell cycle and metabolism, Dr. Brenner is an international leader in the characterization of the FHIT tumor suppressor gene, who employs a combination of model system genetics, enzymology, and X-ray crystallography. At Dartmouth, Dr. Brenner has served on the Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Committee and multiple faculty searches. At the Cancer Center, he has directed the Cancer Mechanisms Program since 2003 and is the founding Scientific Director of the Lung Oncology Program. The appointment of this dedicated and accomplished leader signals our support for continued evolution of an outstanding program of basic research investigations in cancer at Dartmouth.

Another fine opportunity for the Cancer Center comes with the appointment of Dr. Duane Compton to replace Dr. Brenner as Director of the Cancer Mechanisms Program. Dr. Compton, Professor of Biochemistry, has been an active member of the Program since its inception. He is an internationally known researcher on the mechanisms of spindle organization and chromosome segregation in human cells, who recently showed that improper microtubule-chromosome attachment is a cause of chromosome missegregation in cancer cells. Dr. Compton will lead a program of 25 principal investigators with direct, peer-reviewed cancer-focused funding of greater than $12 million per year.