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Prouty cyclist supports own work on cancer research

Jul 11, 2013   |   by Meghan Pierce   |   NH Union Leader

When [Adjunct Professor of Engineering] Jack Hoopes does his pioneering research into battling breast cancer, his work is partially paid for with money from the fundraiser known as The Prouty.

Begun in 1982 as a 100-mile bike ride by a group of nurses at Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Norris Cotton Cancer Center in honor of longtime patient Audrey Prouty, the fundraiser now includes walking, rowing and golf activities, as well as cycling, with thousands of people generating an average of around $2.7 million a year.

This year's Prouty takes place this Friday and Saturday, with its signature event — The Prouty Ultimate, a 100-mile bike ride from Manchester to Hanover on Friday and another century ride on Saturday — spanning those two days.

A Cotton Center scientist and professor at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine and Thayer School of Engineering for 23 years, Hoopes is a longtime benificiary of The Prouty...

A study is born

When the National Science Foundation formally recognized nanotechnology as a new field of research into cancer treatment, the National Health Institute made a handful of large grants available for such research. Excited about the concept, Jack Hoopes and a team of about 25 biologists, physicians, engineers and graduate students launched a study. But because the team lacked experience in nanotechnology, Hoopes said, the National Health Institute grants went elsewhere.

"But we did like the concept and thought it had a future in cancer research," he said.

So, in those early years, the research was bolstered by a few small grants, including one from the Friends of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

That support from the center's charitable arm gave their work credibility, Hoopes said. And in 2010, the National Cancer Institute named Dartmouth a "Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence," a designation that came with a $13 million grant.

That windfall — and the potentially lifesaving work that will come from it - would not have been possible without the early support of the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Hoopes said.

And that support was made possible by The Prouty.

Members of Dartmouth's CCNE
Dartmouth has been designated as a Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE) with a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). L to R: Karl Griswold, Keith Paulsen, Jack Hoopes, Brian Pogue, Ian Baker (front), Steven Fiering, Jose Conejo-Garcia, Mary Jo Turk, Eugene Demidenko, and Tillman Gerngross (front).

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