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Duane Compton Named Dean of Geisel School of Medicine

Duane Compton, a professor of biochemistry and cell biology, has been named dean of the Geisel School of Medicine. Compton has served as interim dean for nearly three years, and is credited with successfully guiding the recent reorganization of the school, which resulted in a sharpened focus on medical education and research, and a strengthened financial foundation. Prior to that, he served as senior associate dean for research.

"It is critical that Geisel's next leader have a detailed understanding of the school's mission and goals as well as its operating structure, including Geisel's relation to its clinical partners. Duane Compton has both that depth of knowledge and a strategic understanding of Geisel's future opportunities. Duane's commitment to Geisel's success has been clear and unwavering," says President Phil Hanlon (DC'77).

Compton, who is looking forward to continuing to lead the school, says, "I am honored to be asked to serve as Geisel's dean. It is a privilege to be surrounded by such a strong group of faculty, staff, and students who share a dedication and devotion to research, education, and patient care. I look forward to working on their behalf to help strengthen our research and education programs, and with senior leadership at the College and at Geisel's clinical partners to achieve these goals."

I am honored to be asked to serve as Geisel's dean. It is a privilege to be surrounded by such a strong group of faculty, staff, and students.

The choice of Compton was a natural, says Ross Jaffe (DC'80), chair of Geisel's Board of Overseers.

"Duane was asked to step into the interim role at a difficult time for Geisel, and he has done a remarkable job in guiding the school onto a new and more sustainable path. I am pleased that Duane is being appointed to the permanent dean's role so that he can continue his efforts to ensure that Geisel is well positioned for the future."

An internationally renowned cell and cancer biologist, Compton was recruited to the faculty at Dartmouth in 1993. He received his PhD from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and completed his postdoctoral training in cell biology at the Johns Hopkins University Schoolof Medicine.

Since his arrival at Dartmouth, he has maintained a continuous record of funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as many private foundations. In 2013 he received an NIH MERIT Award in recognition of his research on the mechanisms of chromosome segregation during cell division. MERIT awards recognize researchers who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity in research endeavors. He has published more than 70 articles, and images of his work have been displayed on the cover of 15 scientific journals.

He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served on more than a dozen national committees, including at the NIH and the American Cancer Society. He has been honored for his work at Geisel, receiving awards for mentorship and teaching. In 2012, he was elected a member of the school's Academy of Master Faculty Educators.

Compton has taught numerous undergraduate medical courses, and has mentored a broad spectrum of trainees over the years and served on committees for more than 50 graduate students. He is currently working with three PhD students, one MD-PhD student, and two postdoctoral fellows.

"I have been fortunate to work with so many talented young researchers in the lab, and I am proud of the discoveries we've made together," Compton says. "In addition, I enjoy my time in the classroom, teaching medical students and graduate students, and I look forward to continuing my research and teaching."


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