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Norris Cotton Cancer Center
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Molecular Therapeutics Program Activities

Alan Eastman, PhD and Lionel D. Lewis, MB. BCh., MD co-direct Molecular Therapeutics, which is a key clinical and translational program among the six Research Programs at Norris Cotton Cancer Center. The 25 members of Molecular Therapeutics come from seven academic departments at The Geisel School of Medicine and at Dartmouth College for the purpose of integrating information and findings about Cancer Molecular Therapeutics. This NCCC Program has regular monthly meetings and many other activities during the year.

Molecular Therapeutics contributes to the academic dialogue at Dartmouth by sponsoring speakers. Members contribute frequently to other Dartmouth seminar series including the Cancer Center Grand Rounds, Molecular & Systems Biology seminars and Chemistry colloquia.

In the clinical arena, members of Molecular Therapeutics are embedded in Cancer Center Oncology Groups/Tumor Boards at our Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center location in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Todd Miller, PhD is the Scientific Director of the Comprehensive Breast Program and Breast Tumor Board. Lionel D. Lewis directs the Early Phase Trial Clinical Oncology Group and works with Alan Eastman PhD, Yolanda Sanchez, PhD, Chris Amos PhD, Konstantin Dragnev MD and Jack Hoopes DVM, PhD who constitute the executive committee of the Early Phase Trial Clinical Oncology Group.

Journal clubs and research-in-progress presentations enrich the advancement of science and provide opportunities for discussions. The Cancer Biology, Pharmacology and Molecular Therapeutics Journal Clubs meet weekly and Molecular Therapeutics faculty members are regular attendees.

Regionally, Molecular Therapeutics is active with the University of Vermont and University of Massachusetts Medical Center in sponsoring a symposium on genomic stability. Molecular Therapeutics members Yolanda Sanchez and Alan Eastman are past presenters. The regional clinical trials network New England Oncology Network (NEON) provides additional opportunities for collaboration.

Nurturing a supportive and challenging academic community for Molecular Therapeutics members is a premier NCCC priority, and program activities reflect that in their mentoring, teaching, grant writing, and recruitment. Mary D. Chamberlin, MD and John D. Seigne, MB were recruited into the program for their clinical/translational focus. Maria M. Pellegrini, PhD and Michael J. Ragusa, PhD were recruited for their expertise in the synthesis of bioactive small molecules. Additionally, the recent recruitments of Diwakar R. Pattabiraman, PhD and Xiaofeng Wang, PhD were key hires to amplify the program’s strengths in translational research.

Turning to teaching, Todd W. Miller, PhD co-directs the Cancer Biology, Pharmacology, and Molecular Therapeutics theme within the Graduate Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine (PEMM). Many of Molecular Therapeutics faculty members teach both graduate students at Dartmouth and medical students from Geisel School of Medicine. Senior program members participate in mentoring committees for all junior faculty members.

At the national level, Molecular Therapeutics director Alan Eastman serves as Treasurer for the Cancer Molecular Therapeutics Research Association that holds annual meetings. Lionel D. Lewis is the appointed Vice Chair of the Alliance Pharmacogenomics and Population Pharmacology (PPP) committee, and the Alliance Cancer in the Older Adult Committee liaison to the PPP committee, providing access to a larger network for NCCC investigators.