Karagas Appointed to Squires Professorship

Margaret Karagas, PhD, has been appointed to the James W. Squires Professorship at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Margaret Karagas
Margaret Karagas, PhD. Photo by Jon Gilbert Fox.

The James W. Squires Professorship was established in 1998 to honor the founder of the Matthew Thornton Health Plan, the first nonprofit health maintenance organization in New Hampshire. The professorship supports a faculty member pursuing academic activities that advance health, health promotion, and innovative and cost-effective health-care delivery.

“I feel deeply honored and grateful to be chosen for this incredibly prestigious and exciting professorship that has already had an enormous impact on the future of health care,” Karagas says.

An epidemiologist and professor of community and family medicine, Karagas’s research seeks to understand how environmental exposures combine with genetics to impact health beginning early in life. She is a co-director of the Cancer Epidemiology and Chemoprevention Research Program at Norris Cotton Cancer Center—a multidisciplinary collaboration between laboratory investigators, biostatisticians, epidemiologists, and clinicians to identify and develop interventions that inhibit the development of cancer.

“This is a well-deserved honor for an amazing researcher,” says Chip Souba, dean of the Geisel School of Medicine. “Margaret’s innovative research is providing new insights and new opportunities to improve lives."

Karagas also directs the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Center at Dartmouth, jointly funded by an $8 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Last year, she received a $12 million grant to establish the multidisciplinary Center for Molecular Epidemiology at the Geisel School of Medicine, providing vital infrastructure and mentorship support to early-career investigators.

“Advanced technologies and methodologies are enabling us to understand health in ways never before possible,” Karagas says. “We are able to identify sensitive periods of life that critically influence disease risk, as well as the spectrum and interplay of factors that influence long-term health.”

Karagas is unwavering in her commitment to find the early causes of diseases such as cancer and to develop insights into their prevention and treatment. “I look forward to continuing this professorship as we strive to discover new approaches to sustaining health and reducing the overall burden of disease in the population,” she says.

As a member of numerous national and international scientific study committees, Karagas has contributed to many reports on health risks, including the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s monograph on arsenic and other drinking water contaminants, the National Academy of Sciences’ Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations near Nuclear Facilities, the European Food Safety Authority Scientific Opinion on Arsenic in Foods, and many others.

About the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Founded in 1797, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth strives to improve the lives of the communities it serves through excellence in learning, discovery, and healing. The Geisel School of Medicine is renowned for its leadership in medical education, health care policy and delivery science, biomedical research, global health, and in creating innovations that improve lives worldwide. As one of America’s leading medical schools, Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine is committed to training new generations of diverse health care leaders who will help solve our most vexing challenges in health care.