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Dean Compton Notes a Year of Remarkable Accomplishments by Geisel Community at Annual State of the Medical School Address

In his annual State of the Medical School address, Dean Duane Compton delivered an overview of the Geisel School of Medicine’s achievements over the past year. Speaking on a warm but beautiful afternoon, Dean Compton expressed his excitement at the collective accomplishments within the school’s mission areas, emphasizing that these successes are a testament to the dedication and hard work of faculty, staff, and students.

“I want to start by thanking all of you for committing your time and your energies and your intellect to our school and its missions,” said Dean Compton. “The success of our school really revolves around every one of you and what you're doing and how you're doing it, both at DH and at the school and at other clinical partners. It is really our staff and our faculty and our students who drive our school forward and do everything to meet our mission. So, I'm really grateful to all for your efforts.”

"It is really our staff and our faculty and our students who drive our school forward and do everything to meet our mission."

- Dean Duane Compton

Below are highlights of Dean Compton’s State of the Medical School Address. You can watch the full video here:

Academic and Research Excellence

Dean Compton discussed the school’s robust academic activities. With over 2,000 faculty and more than 400 staff spread across 41 departments and centers, Geisel plays a critical role in Dartmouth’s intellectual ecosystem. Underscoring the school’s substantial contributions to Dartmouth’s research enterprise, he noted that the science created at Geisel accounts for more than 95% of the College’s intellectual property royalties. Geisel also accounts for a majority of sponsored research projects at the College and hosts most of the shared services that support the entire research ecosystem at Dartmouth.

Highlighting leadership changes, Dean Compton thanked those who served in interim roles and introduced new department chairs and administrative leaders. He expressed gratitude to the faculty committees involved in these searches, acknowledging their time and effort in bringing outstanding clinicians and scholars to the Geisel community.

Education and Organizational Enhancements

Dean Compton emphasized the strategic reorganization of the administrative functions supporting Geisel’s education programs, bringing all the school’s education programs under one administrative umbrella. This reorganization aims to better serve students, enhance existing programs, and develop new ones. Compton recognized new appointments leading these education efforts, including Craig Westling’s promotion to Associate Dean for Health Sciences Education, Julie Taylor’s recruitment as the curricular leader for the MD program, and Tara Cunningham’s appointment as Associate Dean for Student Life. Sonia Chimienti was promoted to the inaugural Dean of Educational Affairs, overseeing all education programs and student services.

On the research front, Compton noted the recruitment of Susan Roberts as the Senior Associate Dean for Foundational Research, joining Steve Bernstein, the Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research. Compton commended the faculty for their exceptional commitment to medical education, as evidenced by student-selected awards for outstanding contributions to both the pre-clinical and clinical curriculum.

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Photos by Rob Strong

Strategic Goals and Community Engagement

Compton reviewed the substantial progress made on the strategic plan’s goals, including enhancing the sense of community and promoting values through a new awards program for faculty and staff. He also acknowledged significant advancements in HR, the launch of a new academic department in Radiation Oncology and Applied Sciences, and the successful NCI Cancer Center Support Grant renewal.

In educational affairs, Geisel received full accreditation for the MD program and positive feedback from the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) site visit for the public health program. Compton praised the efforts of leaders like Sonia Chimienti, Craig Westling, and Paul Weisberg, the Associate Dean for Assessment, Quality and Accreditation, in these accomplishments. He also highlighted the organizational changes that brought curriculum programs and student support services under unified leadership, enhancing interprofessional education and creating a supportive environment for learners.

Faculty Affairs

Compton noted that under Erica Brown’s leadership, the Office of Faculty Affairs launched several initiatives, including the BOSS program, the Mentoring Institute, and the Geisel Women in Medicine Program. The office processed over 1,300 faculty appointments, demonstrating its significant workload.

Fundraising Achievements

He also recognized Matt Haag and the Medical and Healthcare Advancement office’s efforts in elevating fundraising, with substantial gifts supporting core mission areas such as cancer research and student scholarships.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

Compton highlighted the achievements of the DICE office, led by Lisa McBride, in advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Notable events included the Dartmouth Surgeons General conference on mental health and the second annual MLK Day Award Ceremony. The office also continued its ongoing workshops and Conversations That Matter series, fostering inclusive dialogues within the community.

Research and Innovation

Dean Compton celebrated the year’s major research milestones, including successful grant renewals and new awards. The Geisel-held grant portfolio grew significantly, with a notable 50% increase in the Dartmouth Health’s (DH) grant portfolio. He also lauded DH’s investments in the support of advancing the academic mission of the clinical departments. He shared the exciting news of Dartmouth’s participation in the proceeds from the sale of Randy Noelle’s company, highlighting the impact of Geisel’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Concluding his address, Dean Compton acknowledged the financial challenges facing the school and urged the community to approach these challenges with compassion and teamwork. He expressed pride in the year’s accomplishments and optimism for the future, emphasizing the importance of community and collaboration in driving Geisel’s continued success.

Recognizing Excellence

The address concluded with the presentation of awards that highlighted the outstanding contributions of our faculty, staff, and community partners.

Susan Roberts presented the inaugural Research Excellence Awards, celebrating the outstanding scientific contributions and advancements within our community. Winners of this year’s Research Excellence Awards are listed below.

This year, Geisel also launched the inaugural Leading Forward Awards, which honor the outstanding contributions of faculty and staff, recognizing their commitment to Geisel’s core values: Integrity, Inclusion, Innovation, Community, and Excellence. Winners of this year’s Leading Forward Awards are listed below.


Research Excellence Award for Assistant Professor of Clinical Science

- Elaine Kiriakopoulos, MD, MPH, MSc

Research Excellence Award for Assistant Professor of Foundational Science

- Aaron McKenna, PhD

Research Excellence Award for Associate/Full Professor of Clinical Science

- Heather Wishart, PhD

Research Excellence Award for Associate/Full Professor of Foundational Science

- Robert Cramer, PhD

Outstanding Community Partner Award

- Amy Deavitt, Associate Director of Cancer Center Partnerships,

American Cancer Society

- Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water

Research Excellence Award for Team Scientist

- Shani Bardach, PhD

Outstanding Citizenship Award for Faculty

- Steven Fiering, PhD

Outstanding Citizenship Award for Team Scientist

- Rebecca Butcher, MS, MPH



Scottie Eliassen, MS

Instructor, Community and Family Medicine & Medical Education

Megan M. Holthoff, MSHS

Research Project Director, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy

and Clinical Practice

Lisa A. Marsch, PhD

Professor of Psychiatry & Biomedical Data Science,

Andrew G. Wallace Professor, Director Center for Technology & Behavioral Health


You can view the 2024 State of the Med School program here.