Friends Research Scholars selected for 2018

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Mon, 01/22/2018 - 1:15pm -- Denise Sortor

Norris Cotton Cancer Center Director Steven Leach, MD, has selected Mary Chamberlin, MD, and Todd Miller, PhD, to be the Friends Research Scholars for 2018. Each will receive an award of $25,000 to further their research into better ways to diagnose, treat, or prevent cancer. The Friends Scholar is so named because it draws on philanthropic dollars raised by the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, a volunteer group dedicated to raising money and awareness for this nationally recognized comprehensive cancer center.

Mary Chamberlin, MD, is a breast cancer oncologist whose research includes a collaboration with Todd Miller evaluating the genetic changes that occur in the blood of advanced breast cancer patients compared to their tumors, as well as a collaboration with Arminja Kettenbach, PhD, evaluating differences in proteins seen in breast cancer in different parts of the world to provide a link to potential environmental influences. Dr. Chamberlin has also done several studies on physical activity interventions during and after a breast cancer diagnosis, and is now working on a quality improvement research project to apply what has been learned to improve the options available for women to increase exercise, either through an Oncological-Rehabilitation  program here at Norris Cotton Cancer Center or in their local communities. “Research is an essential part of optimal patient care and breast cancer touches every community,” says Chamberlin. “I’m truly honored to be a recipient of this award and plan to apply the funds to research that will get us closer to answering the why’s and how’s of breast cancer around the world.”

Todd Miller, PhD, is the scientific director of the Comprehensive Breast Program at Norris Cotton Cancer Center. His work focuses on the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of patients with breast cancer, and the identification of breast cancer subgroups with unique sensitivities to certain drugs. “These are exciting times in cancer research,” says Miller, “and the pace of our understanding of cancer biology is rapidly increasing. I’m honored to be named a Friends Research Scholar, and aim to use this award for studies to identify subgroups of breast cancer with unique therapeutic vulnerabilities.”

Each year, one - or two - Friends Research Scholars are chosen among the basic scientists and clinician/researchers at Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center. The award nurtures innovative cancer research and supports early- to mid-career scientists working in areas central to the mission of the Cancer Center. The Friends Scholars program has been in existence since 2006.

Norris Cotton Cancer Center combines advanced cancer research at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth with patient-centered cancer care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, at NCCC regional locations in Manchester, Keene, and Nashua, NH, and St Johnsbury, Vt, and at 10 partner hospitals throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. It is recognized and designated by the National Cancer Institute for its breadth and depth of research, education and outreach as one of just 49 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the US. Learn more about Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center research, programs, and clinical trials online at