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Dean's Letter - May 2013

Dear Weill Cornell Community:

The long awaited arrival of spring coincides with a period of growth and enthusiastic activity here at Weill Cornell. During the past several months, we have continued on our path of becoming one of the nation's premier institutions for patient care, biomedical research, and medical education, while also preparing ourselves for the challenges we face as part of an academic medical center. As this academic year draws to a close, I'd like to share with you some recent highlights:

-- Our Match Day was a resounding success, with 88 of our 94 graduating medical students acquiring residency positions at one of the 50 top-ranked institutions in the US. Fourteen students will remain at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, while two will move uptown to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. This match provides yet another indication that our graduates are among the best of the best, and I am very proud of each of them.

-- Randi Silver, PhD will be serving as Interim Dean of Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences while we conduct a search for a permanent appointment. Dr. Silver is Professor of Physiology and Biophysics and Faculty Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and was previously serving as Associate Dean of the Graduate School.

-- Dr. Hugh C. Hemmings, Jr. has been appointed the next Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell and Anesthesiologist-in-Chief at NewYork- Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. Dr. Hemmings is a longtime member of our community, and we look forward to the department reaching new heights under his leadership.

-- The Weill Cornell Physician Organization opened a new multi-specialty practice on the Upper West Side, located at 2315 Broadway and West 84th Street. The new facility focuses on wellness and prevention, while also offering the most in-demand specialty services to facilitate one-stop, health care shopping.

-- We officially announced the establishment of the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute, to be directed by neuroscientist Dr. Costantino Iadecola. Thanks to the Feil Family's generosity, this new translational research center will focus on discovering cures for some of the most devastating neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, and multiple sclerosis.

-- US Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Richard Blumenthal and US Representative Chris Gibson joined Weill Cornell and the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance in hosting an on-campus forum on Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. It was an honor to participate in the event along with other doctors, experts, and patients to raise awareness surrounding the impact of Lyme disease on quality of life.

-- On April 15, we were delighted to present Sandy Weill, Chairman of the Board of Overseers, with a timeline honoring his visionary leadership and support of the Medical College, now on display outside Griffis Faculty Club.

As I am sure you are all aware, these positive developments at Weill Cornell are occurring in the context of a constantly changing environment with regards to health care, biomedical research, and the national economy. On March 1, the $85 billion across-the-board federal spending cuts, known as sequestration, went into effect. Although it is difficult to know how long these cuts will remain in place and exactly how they will be implemented, we can expect significant changes to the pattern of federal research funding over the long term. We are taking proactive steps to deal with this challenge, including ongoing lobbying in New York and Washington and exploration of innovative new sources for research funding at Weill Cornell. In addition, we have participated in major outreach efforts:

-- On February 25 we hosted a press conference to raise awareness about the impact of sequestration on medical research. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, State Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly Member Micah Kellner, and City Council Member Jessica Lappin joined Weill Cornell researchers, students, and patients at the event.

-- Nearly two dozen faculty, students, and postdoctoral associates from Weill Cornell joined thousands at the Rally for Medical Research in Washington, DC on April 8, urging Congress to restore more than $2 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health.

We have a strong and innovative community that includes the Medical College in New York, our branch campus in Doha, the Methodist Hospital in Houston, and our many statewide and global affiliates. Together I am confident that we can overcome any difficulties, as we remain steadfast in our mission of improving human health.

With warm regards,

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

Posted May 1, 2013 11:39 AM | Permalink to this post