Geisel, Thayer, and Tuck Name Professors to Endowed Chairs

The four faculty are recognized for stellar research, teaching, and service.

Four leading faculty members from Dartmouth’s professional schools have been named to endowed professorships. The honors, for multi-year terms, recognize scholarship, teaching, and service at the Geisel School of Medicine, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business.

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Eric Fossum
(Photo by John Sherman)

Eric Fossum

John H. Krehbiel Sr. Professor for Emerging Technologies, Thayer School of Engineering

It is wonderful to be named the next John H. Krehbiel Sr. Professor for Emerging Technologies. As a semiconductor device physicist and electrical engineer, I have been working on image sensor “chips” and image capture for my entire career, which includes working in academia, NASA, industry and entrepreneurial startups. The complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor technology we invented in the 1990s for interplanetary spacecraft is now found in nearly every camera on Earth, including billions of smartphones. My group at Dartmouth has been looking at a possible next-generation image sensor technology, one that counts photons one at a time. This “quanta image sensor” has now been demonstrated with a million tiny pixels, thanks to the inventive contributions of my graduate students and our collaborative work with industry to put it into practice. We have created a new startup company, Gigajot, to explore commercialization of this new platform technology. At Thayer, we will continue to push the boundaries of sensing light and exploring new applications.

To me, the joy of engineering is creating and inventing new technologies and then translating those technologies from the lab to benefit society. Technology transfer via entrepreneurship is one of the most effective ways of making this happen, and helps keep higher education’s compact with our nation and the world. Nothing beats seeing your invention in the hands of happy users.

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Ellen Meara
(Photo by Mark Washburn)

Ellen Meara

Peggy Y. Thomson Professorship in the Evaluative Clinical Sciences, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice

It is an honor to be recognized with the Peggy Y. Thomson Professorship, which has supported a rich tradition of health services research at Dartmouth. Dartmouth has been a pioneer in interdisciplinary research linking clinicians, social scientists, and health services providers.

Underlying much of my research is a desire to understand how the U.S., which spends $3.5 trillion on health care annually, has witnessed life expectancy declines in each of the last three years, just as some segments, including children and the elderly, have seen unambiguous improvements in morbidity and mortality. The answers to such questions rely on interdisciplinary teams, a core component of the Peggy Y. Thomson Professorship. 

This award will enable me to expand my work to new populations, continuing to learn about care in Medicaid programs as that population grows and states innovate approaches to care. By connecting traditional sources of information (like claims data) with data on the relationships between and within large health care organizations, in addition to  information about the market, policy, and socioeconomic environment in which patients and providers, and other stakeholders sit, I hope to elucidate examples of success that are extremely important to the health of the nation and the cost of our health care system. I have the extraordinary privilege to collaborate with diverse teams of talented faculty, staff, and students at Dartmouth, and I look forward to using this award to extend the content of our research to make health care better.

Brian Pogue

MacLean Professor of Engineering, Thayer School of Engineering

The Engineering in Medicine initiative at Thayer has been the ideal umbrella program for growth in biomedical optics applications. Our research group includes about three dozen faculty, staff, and students within the Center for Imaging Medicine at Dartmouth. We work with research-focused physicians and translational biomedical researchers at the Geisel School of Medicine and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Thayer owns facilities in the medical center, enabling us to translate NIH-funded discoveries of imaging systems into human clinical trials, an opportunity that exists at few peer institutions.

My own focus is on developing imaging tools that take advantage of the unique molecular sensitivity and point-of-care features of optical spectroscopy. These advances in surgical guidance and radiation therapy guidance cannot be done with traditional radiological tools. In surgical imaging, the sub-microscopic structure of tissue can be uniquely sensed with active illumination methods. In another project, which is being tested in three ongoing surgical guidance trials, we developed a molecular tracer for a cancer cell surface receptor to guide surgical resection. Finally, we developed a unique imaging camera that captures radiation doses in tissue of  patients. This last tool is a fundamentally new way to visualize radiotherapy in action, and has spawned a startup company, DoseOptics, which licenses the Dartmouth patents for this technology. In this way, students get both engineering and entrepreneurial experience.

I am pleased to continue this work as the MacLean Professor of Engineering. Endowments such as this bridge generations of alumni and faculty, not unlike the bridges that we try to build across faculty and students in the medical and engineering schools.

Brian Tomlin

The William and Josephine Buchanan Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business

It is a great honor to be named the William and Josephine Buchanan Professor of Management, especially with this chair having been held in the past by wonderful Tuck faculty such as Brian Quinn and Colin Blaydon.

My expertise lies in the area of operations and supply chain management. At Tuck, I teach the first-year operations management core course and a second-year elective on operations strategy.

Earlier in my career, the bulk of my research focused on supply chain risk management. I explored how firms can design supply chains that are more robust and resilient in the face of supply disruptions caused by natural disasters, strikes, or other events. For example, this past summer the food and beverage industries in Europe had to cope with serious supply shortages of carbon dioxide (a key ingredient in certain products) because a large number of the ammonia plants that produce carbon dioxide as a byproduct were unable to operate due to planned or unplanned technical outages. That example connects to another research area of mine. I study operations and supply-chain challenges in co-product industries (think semiconductors, chemicals, etc.) in which production simultaneously creates multiple products. Finally, and much more recently, I have begun working on research related to the industrial internet of things and additive manufacturing and, in particular, their potential impact on operations.

Meara, Fossum, Pogue, and Tomlin join eight faculty who have been appointed to endowed professorships this year in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Charlotte Albright can be reached at [email protected].