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Dartmouth Gets Big Share of Cancer Grants

November 13, 2009

Mark Israel, MD

Mark Israel, MD
Director, Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Norris Cotton Cancer Center ranked in the top five percent of institutions nationwide in total dollars of research funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in fiscal year 2009.

In all, the cancer researchers at the Cancer Center, Dartmouth Medical School, and Dartmouth College earned 78 grants totaling $34.6 million-for a ranking of 31st among 757 institutions. Dartmouth averaged more than $444,000 per grant. The totals include recent grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as well as regular grants and core funding for the Cancer Center.

Dartmouth's place in the NCI funding list is significant because the ranking is not pro-rated for an institution's size; rather, it is based on absolute dollars. Many of the institutions ahead of Dartmouth are larger, urban cancer centers such as the University of Texas's MD Anderson Cancer Center, which topped the list at $120.8 million and 288 grants.

"Dartmouth's ability to garner NCI funding is particularly noteworthy at a time of constrained resources and ever-increasing national competition for those resources."

"Our success in competing for NCI funding demonstrates the nationally-recognized excellence of research scientists at Norris Cotton Cancer Center and across Dartmouth's component institutions," said Mark A. Israel, MD, Director of the Cancer Center. "Dartmouth's ability to garner NCI funding is particularly noteworthy at a time of constrained resources and ever-increasing national competition for those resources. Our ranking is surprising only in that Dartmouth is so much smaller than other top-ranking centers, many of which have far more expansive facilities and several times as many cancer research scientists."

Behind MD Anderson, the other top institutions on the list were Johns Hopkins at almost $99.6 million, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle at $98.7 million, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston at $96.5 million, and the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York City at $92.2 million.

Norris Cotton Cancer Center is one of 40 institutions that the NCI, an agency of the National Institutes of Health, recognizes as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. It combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth with patient-centered cancer care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and at 14 Dartmouth-Hitchcock regional locations and partner hospitals throughout New Hampshire and Vermont.