Cancer Center Appoints James Gorham to Lead Its Educational Efforts

James D. Gorham, MD, PhD, has been named the first associate director for education at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

Gorham, a professor of pathology and of microbiology and immunology and director of the MD-PhD program at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, said he is honored and excited to begin work in this new post. “My initial objectives are to fully understand the various educational activities of the Cancer Center and bring these disparate activities together under one umbrella.”

James Gorham
Dr. James Gorham

Educational efforts at Norris Cotton Cancer Center run the gamut from teaching in the community to continuing education for seasoned clinicians and researchers.

“Patients, families, undergraduate students, medical students, graduate students, residents, fellows, new faculty, veteran faculty—every one of these is a learner—most are teachers as well,” said Gorham. “The teaching activities, however, are largely done in silos, with many educators unaware of the activities of other educators.”

Gorham hopes to change that by coordinating activities in ways that minimize redundancy and maximize effectiveness. This will help support a scope that, while broad, is focused.

“My hope is that when people think about the Cancer Center, they think of it as a center not only for remarkable research and clinical care, but also as a center that offers outstanding cancer education at all levels of learning,” he said.

This critical leadership post will advance the Cancer Center’s commitment and capacity for student education, continuing education, student and faculty career development, and community education. Some of the priority areas include:

  • Promoting translational research with learning that takes place across the platforms of basic, clinical, and population research.
  • Improving mentoring and training of the next generation of cancer scientist and physicians.
  • Insuring a high quality, hands-on student experience for undergraduates, graduate students, post-graduate fellows, and medical students.
  • Expanding educational opportunities through technological advancements as well as regional, national, and international opportunities for collaboration.

As an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Norris Cotton Cancer Center is a major source of discovery of the nature of cancer and of the development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and therapy. It is also charged with delivering medical advances to patients and their families, and educating health-care professionals, the public, and underserved populations.