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A Letter from the Dean

The beginning of each academic year brings with it a renewed sense of optimism on campus. New and returning students come together creating a distinct dynamic that contributes to both the academic and social culture of our school. As this academic year begins, I am struck how apropos the adage "form ever follows function" from American architect Louis Sullivan, widely regarded as the father of modernist architecture, is to the Geisel School of Medicine.

Our function is succinctly defined by our mission: To address the world's problems through research and discovery, the evaluation and improvement of systems of health care, and the education of the best future physicians and scientists.

Over the past year, we have worked with faculty and staff to align our available resources to ensure that Geisel's form naturally flows from our core functions of education and research. For example, in the area of education, you will read in this issue about the launch of our new Department of Medical Education. Faculty in this department are dedicated to our mission of training exceptional physicians and they will oversee the complete four-year curriculum. Moreover, our medical curriculum continues to evolve so that we can ensure that our graduates are best prepared to practice medicine in the complex environment of modern health care. Here, you will read about the new course entitled Patients and Populations that is designed to leverage our unique strength in health care delivery science to train our students in aspects of population health management and how to lead inter-professional teams to deliver optimal care to individual patients.

In the area of research, we are strengthening our support to faculty and programs in our foundational science departments so that our form effectively supports that function. In this issue you will read updates and/or profiles of the recent successes of a small sample of our faculty from different scientific areas, including biochemistry (Dr. Jason McLellan), microbiology (Dr. Deb Hogan), and behavioral health (Dr. Lisa Marsch). Through their research programs, our faculty are dedicated to training the next generation of scientists. Much of this training occurs in our robust graduate training programs that operate in close partnership with the School of Arts and Sciences and Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. Additionally, as you will read, our faculty provide extensive opportunities for undergraduate students to experience hands-on research projects through many summer research programs.

The form of Geisel now follows naturally from its core functions in research and education. As the weather turns colder and the vibrant leaves begin falling from the trees, I am reminded of the need for gloves, and I realize how well the metaphor of the hand-in-glove now describes how our form fits with our function.


Duane Compton, PhD
Interim Dean, Geisel School of Medicine


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