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Vital Signs


Dartmouth pharmacologist Michael Sporn, M.D., just added another "first" to his long list of career accomplishments: he was named the first Eminent Scholar of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center for Cancer Research. The Eminent Scholar program was established as part of what NCI officials are calling a "reengineering" of their intramural research program— an effort to develop cross-organizational relationships to enrich the work conducted by NCI staff scientists. The program is intended to foster a better flow of ideas between NCI-based scientists and university-based scientists who do research that's funded by grants from the NCI.

Sporn came to Dartmouth in 1995 following a 35-year career at the National Institutes of Health. Known for coining the term "chemoprevention"—the idea of using vitamins, drugs, and other agents to stop cancer before it starts—he holds DMS's Oscar M. Cohn '34 Chair of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

A year ago, Sporn was selected as the first recipient of the Excellence in Cancer Prevention Award, which was established jointly by the American Association for Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Foundation of America. His innovative work dates back to the 1970s, when he suggested that there might be ways of combating cancer beyond using cytotoxic drugs once the disease had been diagnosed.

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