The Byrne Family Cancer Research Institute

In April 2023, Barbara and Dick Couch established the Couch Endowed Fund for Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellowships at Dartmouth Cancer Center

Their $2.5 million commitment to Dartmouth Health will support the recruitment and retention of up-and-coming cancer clinician-scientists from under-represented groups in medicine, particularly those exploring health disparities and healthcare inequities.

Magnified by matching funds from the Byrne Family Cancer Research Institute, the total $5 million endowment represents the largest philanthropic investment to date in support of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) at Dartmouth Cancer Center.

The Byrne Family Cancer Research Institute at Dartmouth and Dartmouth Cancer Center set the stage to elevate and deliver our region's contributions to global cancer research, as well as saving and improving lives right here in the Upper Valley, across the nation, and around the world.

Watch this video to see how inspired minds across Dartmouth and Dartmouth Health are coming together through the Byrne Family Cancer Research Institute to amplify discoveries for patients worldwide.

A joint venture to accelerate research

Dartmouth Cancer Center is a joint venture between Dartmouth College's Geisel School of Medicine and Dartmouth Health. Entering its sixth decade of service, the Cancer Center draws upon the entire Dartmouth system to accelerate cross-disciplinary research and translate laboratory science to clinical application.

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The Byrne Family Cancer Research Institute begins with a generous lead gift of $25 million from longtime supporter Mrs. Dorothy Byrne to:

  • Enhance dedicated cross-campus research efforts
  • Make the next major leap forward in cancer research
  • Serve as one of the top training grounds for a new generation of physicians and medical leaders to take on the ever-changing nature of the field

The Cancer Center is dedicated to leveraging this initial commitment by raising an additional $25 million for a total of $50 million, which will support the Institute's mission of investing in ambitious and forward-thinking science that will result in the highest-impact return.

The launch of the Byrne Family Cancer Research Institute at Dartmouth Cancer Center will elevate and accelerate our contributions among global cancer research institutes and make new and novel cancer treatment a reality.

Steven D. Leach, MD, Director, Dartmouth Cancer Center
The Byrne Family Center Research Institute diagram
Housed within the Cancer Center, The Byrne Family Cancer Research Institute will bridge the world-class teaching and research efforts of the Geisel School of Medicine with clinical care provided through the breadth of Dartmouth Health.

Over the next decade, the Byrne Family Cancer Research Institute will:

  • Fund the boldest and most promising innovations, bringing them to market and into the hands of the patients and physicians who need them most
  • Expand and support a best-in-class clinical trials research program
  • Fund state-of-the-art research tools and technology for Dartmouth students and faculty
  • Support the recruitment and retention of both PhD and physician-researchers

The medical innovations developed at the Cancer Center will be crucial for treating a disease that remains extraordinarily complex—The Byrne Family Cancer Research Institute will fast-track science from the lab into new preventions and cures, survivorship enhancements, and ways to achieve cancer health equity.

The challenge to stop cancer

Cancer Center entrance
The Cancer Center serves more than 32,000 patients annually with more than 3,700 new diagnoses of cancer each year.

Cancer is among the leading causes of death in the United States. At the end of the last decade, there were 18.1 million new cases and 9.5 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. In the U.S. alone, 50 percent of people will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime, with one in four ultimately succumbing to the disease. For the residents of northern New England, Dartmouth Cancer Center is the only place for state-of-the-art treatment of award-winning quality and patient satisfaction.

At the forefront of emerging cancer research is the success of immunotherapy, the burgeoning role of precision medicine, and yet untapped opportunities in precision prevention. Dartmouth Cancer Center was intimately involved in the launch of the world's first immunotherapies, which, after decades of research, are now curing once-deadly cancers.

Learn more about our vision and plan: