A Letter from the Dean
Anyone familiar with our medical school knows that our success is built on the ideas of community and collaboration. Ask any of our students or faculty why they chose to come to Geisel, and the answer you will most likely hear is that they were drawn by our close-knit supportive community. Our faculty and researchers will also say this collegial environment creates amazing opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration, which is less common in some larger institutions. These two entwined concepts—community and collaboration—are not just part of our culture, they're the foundation for the future of our academic medical enterprise.
It is not surprising then that these ideas are at the core of our new Williamson Translational Research Building (WTRB). As you will read in this issue, this multipurpose building is already impacting our campus in remarkable ways. It is serving as the physical home for Dartmouth SYNERGY: Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Department of Biomedical Data Science, the research programs of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI), the Department of Pathology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Connected Care telemedicine program, and for research programs associated with the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Center, and Thayer School of Engineering. This new space physically integrates our research programs located throughout the Rubin and Borwell buildings, which is proving to be a powerful tool in generating new research by facilitating interactions among our researchers and clinicians.
Communities change and grow, reflecting the contributions of the individuals within them. Few people have had as big an impact upon our community—especially upon our students—as Joe O'Donnell, who has announced his retirement. While I will miss his gregarious greeting, "How ya doin'?", I know his lessons of compassionate care will carry on because they are part of the fabric of our community. Our students are also applying the lessons they learn here to be agents of change in our community and beyond. For example, to raise awareness and build cohesiveness among our Latino community, Adrianna Stanley and Freddy Vazquez recently hosted the annual regional meeting of the Latino Medical Student Association. It was a spectacular success in drawing nearly 300 people from throughout the northeast. You will also read about the work of Emily Stephens, a graduate student in our Program for Experimental and Molecular Medicine who helps organize the Upper Valley Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition for high school students in addition to pursuing her PhD.
When I look onto the Connecticut River, I am reminded of what the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: "You cannot step twice into the same river." That simple metaphor reminds us that the waters in a river are always flowing and changing and that change is a natural process to be embraced as we move our programs forward.
Duane Compton, PhD
Interim Dean, Geisel School of Medicine
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