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Dorothy Byrne's Generosity Continues to Inspire Groundbreaking Cancer Philanthropy

In the two years since Dorothy Byrne made her groundbreaking commitment to establish the Byrne Family Cancer Research Institute, her investment has already transformed cancer research at Dartmouth and Dartmouth Health. Exceptional physician scientists are joining this community, the clinical trials program is larger and more accessible, and new ideas in immunotherapy and cancer precision prevention are getting vital seed funding.

Beyond that, Dorothy Byrne’s generosity has inspired an extraordinary community of supporters whose collective pledges total $18 million and counting, including the complete fulfillment of a $5 million match, with a goal of raising a total of $50 million.

Dartmouth Cancer Center Deputy Director Linda T. Vahdat, MD, MBA, is helping transform the face of research and patient care.

The cornerstone of this fundraising success comes from meaningful gifts made by two couples. In Spring 2023, Eileen and James Savarese D ’88 endowed the Savarese Family Professorship with the help of matching funds from Dorothy Byrne. The endowment will support a Geisel faculty member dedicated to pioneering cancer research, with a preference for those focusing on brain cancer—a disease to which the Savarese family lost their young son, Charlie, in 2004. The Savareses complemented this lasting investment with a $500,000 gift, also matched by Dorothy Byrne, for immediate use on brain cancer research.

Additionally, Barbara and Dick Couch D ’64, TH ’65 gave $2.5 million to establish the Couch Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellowships (also endowed in part by the Byrne match for a total $5 million). This fund will provide rising cancer physician scientists—especially those who come from underrepresented-in-medicine groups and are studying health disparities or healthcare inequities—with several years of protected time for discovery, research, and collaboration. It is the largest diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging gift ever received by the Dartmouth Cancer Center or Dartmouth Health.

Equally exciting, 40 other donors have pledged a combined $18 million to support cancer research within the Byrne Family Cancer Research Institute, and that amount keeps growing. They are alumni and faculty, New Hampshire residents, and longtime Prouty participants who, for the first time, are engaging in a new way. The generosity also comes from cancer philanthropists who don’t live locally and are not connected to Dartmouth. Each one of these individuals has felt moved by what Dorothy Byrne set in motion.

Our patients don’t have to travel far to get cutting-edge, quality cancer care. Their doctors are their friends and neighbors. Care doesn’t get more personalized than that.”
—Linda T. Vahdat, MD, MBA, Deputy Director of Dartmouth Cancer Center

We extend our deepest gratitude to Dorothy Byrne and all donors for their commitment and support. These generous gifts are fueling innovative work at the leading edge of the fight against cancer. Dorothy Byrne's support has kindled something special that will continue to grow and evolve. Cancer indiscriminately affects individuals and families worldwide, and these efforts are making a profound difference in the pursuit of lifesaving breakthroughs.

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Giving in Action
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Will Bailey and Tara Kyle

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