Exit Interview: Brian Pogue, Dean of Graduate Studies

The Graduate Forum

August 14, 2012

By Wesley Whitaker

On Wednesday August 15, 2012, a new faculty member will begin serving as Dartmouth’s Dean of Graduate Studies. The editors of The Graduate Forum would like to take a moment to welcome the new Dean, and also to thank outgoing Dean Brian Pogue  for his four years of service.

“The Deanship at Dartmouth has been an incredibly high honor,” says Brian Pogue. “Now, looking back on the past four years, I know that we have made the right decisions on a number of key issues and have achieved a few important initiatives for the campus. I’ve taken an opportunistic approach to affecting change at Dartmouth in areas that would be receptive to it, and in the end I am happy with that.”

Originally from Ontario, Brian Pogue received his Honors Bachelors and Masters degrees in Physics from York University in Toronto, and was then accepted as a PhD candidate in Medical/Nuclear Physics at McMaster University in Hamilton. While at McMaster, Brian researched the use of optical spectroscopy—a method for examining the properties of a physical object by measuring how it emits and interacts with light—to image breast cancer under the guidance of his doctoral advisor, Michael Patterson, Head of Medical Physics at the regional Cancer Center. To test the optical machines developed in the Patterson lab, Brian examined both the tissue of mice and the properties of “tissue phantoms”— mimicking the physical properties of living tissue and cancerous tumors. In his doctoral dissertation, Frequency-Domain Optical Spectroscopy and Imaging of Tissue and Tissue-Simulating Media, Brian developed a system for imaging living tissue using high-speed optical measurements, to quantify the molecular features of tissues and cancer tumors.

“In a lot of ways, I still feel like a graduate student. I don’t think that I ever really grew up,” says Brian. “As a Director of Dartmouth’s Optics in Medicine Lab, I work with graduate students on a daily basis, and am conducting research on medical optics with professionals at Dartmouth and a number of other research institutions. I agreed to serve as Dean of Graduate Education because I genuinely care about graduate students and believe that graduate research is an integral part of our academic community. I think that the research being conducted by Dartmouth’s graduate students allows the school to advance the creation of new knowledge and leads to innovations in techniques and technologies.  This is the key part of what makes Dartmouth a world-class educational institution.”

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