James Sargent, MD, has been awarded the Scott M. and Lisa G. Stuart Professorship in Pediatric Oncology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. This distinction recognizes and rewards excellence in advancing treatment, research, education, and prevention of childhood cancers. Sargent is the first to be appointed to the newly established endowed professorship, which is named for the donors who have funded it with generous gifts totaling $2.5 million.
Sargent is professor of pediatrics and of community and family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine and co-director of the Cancer Control Research Program at Norris Cotton Cancer Center. An internationally recognized authority on the impact of mass media on risky behavior in childhood and adolescence, he has written, published, and spoken widely on a range of cancer prevention topics. This endowed professorship will support his specific areas of investigation, including the effect of feature films on adolescent smoking, alcohol consumption, and sexual activity. Sargent’s media lab at Dartmouth evaluates the content of feature films and television programing (including commercials) to quantify risky behavior and measure the impact among vulnerable populations.
“James Sargent’s research is uncovering ways we can prevent behaviors in children and adolescents that could contribute to cancer later in life,” said Dr. Mark A. Israel, director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. “This chair enables us to advance Dr. Sargent’s important work, and the continued growth and development of our pediatric cancer program.”
Scott and Lisa Stuart made the gift commitment to fund the chair in honor of Scott Stuart’s 25th Dartmouth College reunion. A founding partner in the investment firm Sageview Capital LLC in Greenwich, Conn., he is a member of the Dartmouth Class of 1981 and received his MBA from Stanford. Lisa Stuart is a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds master’s degrees in social work and public administration from Columbia University. She currently chairs the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich and serves on the Greenwich Country Day School’s board of trustees.
“Our gift is a great opportunity to support my alma mater and contribute to the fight against pediatric cancer, which is vital for us,” says Scott Stuart, who also chairs the board of Memorial Hospital at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Sargent’s work was included in the most recent Surgeon General’s Report on smoking, entitled “Preventing Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults,” which concluded that there is a causal relationship between depiction of smoking in movies and initiation of smoking in young people. Sargent has been widely featured in the media, including coverage in the New York Times, The Atlantic, ABC News, Parent’s Magazine, and Time.
A board-certified pediatrician, Sargent received his MD from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Mass., and completed a residency and fellowship in pediatrics at Boston City Hospital. Sargent is the recipient of the 2011 C. Everett Koop, MD, Courage Award from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the 2009 Special Achievement Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for his pioneering work studying the effects of lead exposure in infants and children and the influence of media exposure on cigarette smoking on children and youth.
“There are many ways to support kids fighting cancer,” notes Scott Stuart. “Preventing the onset of disease—and behaviors that increase cancer risk—is an exciting and forward-thinking way to go about it. As the parents of four children, that resonates with us. Jim Sargent has been a pioneer in this area, and we’re proud to have him hold the chair that bears our names.”