Gerber Named the Inaugural Kenneth E. and Carol L. Weg Distinguished Professor

Scott A. Gerber, PhD, professor of molecular and systems biology and of biochemistry and cell biology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and program director of the Cancer Biology and Therapeutics Research Program at Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC), has been named the Kenneth E. and Carol L. Weg Distinguished Professor. An expert in mass spectrometry and proteomics, Gerber is the first to hold this newly established professorship given by Kenneth Weg D ’60 and his wife, Carol Weg.

Scott A. Gerber, PhD (Photo by Mark Washburn)

“Scott has built a very innovative research program that lies at the intersection of basic science and clinical application where he’s been driving new discoveries by advancing the uses of quantitative proteomics. His enthusiasm for interdisciplinary collaboration and dedication to education are true to the highest standards of our medical school,” says Duane Compton, PhD, dean of the Geisel School of Medicine. “I’m delighted to recognize his achievements by appointing him to this named professorship.”

Gerber’s research focuses on how and why cancer cells rewire signaling pathways for their own survival. Using mass spectrometry to study how proteins communicate with one another, Gerber seeks to identify new therapeutic targets for cancer treatments.

“Scott was recruited to Geisel and the Cancer Center to develop a cancer-focused mass spectrometry-based research program, and this innovation has led to dozens of collaborations throughout the medical school, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Dartmouth College, and the Thayer School of Engineering,” notes Steven Leach, MD, director of NCCC and the Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey Distinguished Chair in Cancer.

The Kenneth E. and Carol L. Weg Distinguished Professorship was established through a generous gift from Kenneth and Carol Weg. For more than 30 years, Ken and Carol Weg have been on the frontlines of cancer treatment and prevention, both personally and professionally. A member of the Dartmouth Class of 1960, Ken is a former vice chairman at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, where his 33-year career was marked by a major commitment to the pharmaceutical company’s oncology business. Since his retirement in 2001, his passion for advancing cancer research, prevention, and treatment has not diminished, and Carol is equally devoted to this cause. As a result, they funded the professorship to support teaching and research in cancer at Geisel to further the school’s commitment to maintaining an excellent faculty and interdisciplinary learning environment.

One of the highest honors in academic medicine, endowed professorships support the work of key faculty in their roles as researcher and teacher. Gerber was named to the Kenneth E. and Carol L. Weg Distinguished Professorship because of his noteworthy contributions to the field of molecular genetics and proteomics in cancer and in recognition of his distinguished record as a teacher. Of his work with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, Gerber says, “One of the most rewarding parts of my research mission is to facilitate the training of the next generation of scientists.

“It’s an incredible privilege to represent the Weg family’s generosity and commitment to cancer research in this named professorship,” continues Gerber. “I’m thrilled to continue my contributions to Geisel, the Cancer Center, and cancer research as the Weg Distinguished Professor.”

Gerber joined the faculty of Dartmouth’s medical school and the Cancer Center in 2006. He received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Washington and completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. The recipient of more than 15 grants from the National Institutes of Health, Gerber holds or has held leadership or membership positions in several national professional societies, including the U.S. Human Proteome Organization, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the International Human Proteome Organization, the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, and the American Chemical Society.

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, healthcare 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 leaders who will help solve our most vexing challenges in healthcare.