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Dartmouth Gets $18M to Put Lab Discoveries Into Practice

Hanover — Dartmouth College has been awarded an $18 million grant to bring scientific discoveries out of the research lab and into clinical practice.

The five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health will be matched by $20 million from Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and Dartmouth-Hitchcock, representing a total investment of $38 million in “translational research” for developing new treatments, cures and other improvements in patient care, Dartmouth officials announced Monday.

“This $38 million public and institutional investment is a game-changer for Dartmouth,” Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon said in a statement announcing the award. “It will transform our capacity to innovate and produce research that makes a difference in people’s health and lives.”

The grant award is a “major achievement for Dartmouth” that will benefit many of the patients and communities that Dartmouth-Hitchcock serves, said President and CEO Jim Weinstein.

The Dartmouth-Hitchcock system includes Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic and community group practices in Keene, Concord, Nashua, Manchester and Bennington, Vt. It serves 1.5 million patients.

Geisel psychiatry professor Alan Green is the grant’s principal investigator. He is also the director of Dartmouth Synergy, a collaborative effort of academics, researchers and clinicians throughout the college focused on improving clinical and translational science. Founded in 2010, Synergy will be based at Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s new Williamson Translational Research Building, which is under construction and expected to open in 2015.

In the statement announcing the award, Green said the NIH grant recognizes Dartmouth’s strengths in life sciences and health research and also provides a significant boost to research being done on population health.

“People want to know that publicly funded research produces tangible benefits,” Green said. “Translational scientists at Synergy are changing the landscape for biomedical research so that research findings can be quickly leveraged into new treatments, with a strong focus on preventing disease and on more effective ways of delivering care.”

With this funding, Dartmouth becomes the first institution in Northern New England to join the Clinical and Translational Science Award Consortium, a network of 60 medical research institutions in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Consortium members share resources and access to intellectual property, technology and data, which will give Dartmouth investigators access to new technologies and partners to feed research ideas.