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Dean's Letter - December 2013

Dear Weill Cornell Community:

It has been an exhilarating year at Weill Cornell Medical College. With the dedication and hard work of everyone in the Weill Cornell community, we have made major strategic advances in our mission. We have established new translational research hubs that will enhance our efforts to understand and treat diverse disease processes, we are expanding and strengthening our clinical enterprise throughout the city and in collaboration with our affiliates globally, and we are well on our way to implementing an innovative curriculum for our medical students.

These positive developments occurred despite the considerable challenges posed by sequestration and the resulting cuts in government funding of biomedical research. To me, this is a testament to the most valuable resource that we have — our community.

Our Overseers, faculty, staff, students, affiliates, and friends are what make all of our accomplishments possible — and I am deeply grateful for the efforts that each one of you makes on behalf of the Medical College. I am also pleased to share some recent highlights of our collective success.

• To accelerate the pace of drug discovery, we launched the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute with Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Rockefeller. In a truly innovative arrangement, we are partnering with the pharmaceutical company Takeda, which is contributing 10-20 medicinal chemists who will be embedded in the Belfer Research Building and will work intimately with our faculty to develop new drugs.

• Our new Driving Discoveries, Changing Lives campaign is already more than halfway to its $300 million goal, thanks to the incredible generosity of our supporters.

• Neuroscientist Sheila Nirenberg won a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award for her groundbreaking work developing an artificial retina that may one day help blind individuals see.

Dr. Gary Koretzky will be guiding our graduate school to new heights as its Dean and building up our biomedical research program as Senior Associate Dean for Research at Weill Cornell. An internationally renowned immunologist, Dr. Koretzky joins us from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he was the Francis C. Wood Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair for Research and Chief Scientific Officer in the Department of Medicine.

The Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging is our newest translational research hub, jointly established by NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell. To be directed by Dr. James K. Min, it will focus on the early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.

• NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Rogosin Institute celebrated the 50th anniversary of their world-renowned transplant program. More than 4,200 kidney transplants have been performed in the past five decades, as well as lifesaving pancreas transplants.

The Weill Cornell Children's Center has officially opened and is providing affordable, quality childcare for our faculty, staff, and students.

• The diversity of our faculty's research contributions in the past few months has been truly impressive, ranging from organ regeneration to cancer genetics to anxiety and depression.

As we enter the holiday season, we have a lot to be thankful for at Weill Cornell. And we have a lot to look forward to — in particular, the ribbon-cutting of the Belfer Research Building on January 31, 2014. After years of planning and construction, it is hard to believe that this beautiful new facility is set to open in just a couple of months. What is certain, though, is that its opening will catapult us into a new era at Weill Cornell--one defined by biomedical discovery, scientific innovation, and ideally, improved patient outcomes.

With warm regards,

Laurie H. Glimcher, M.D.
Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean
Weill Cornell Medical College
Provost for Medical Affairs
Cornell University

Posted December 3, 2013 11:17 AM | Permalink to this post