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Dean's Letter - September 2013

Dear Weill Cornell Community:

As we begin another academic year -- my second as Dean -- I am thrilled to announce that Weill Cornell Medical College received a $100 million gift from longtime benefactors Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation to launch the Medical College's $300 million Driving Discoveries, Changing Lives campaign. Driving Discoveries, Changing Lives will help support each aspect of our tripartite mission of education, research, and clinical care and ensure that we remain an undisputed leader among medical schools. Weill Cornell has already received more than $50 million in additional gifts, bringing it halfway to its campaign goal. I invite you to watch or read yesterday's coverage of the campaign launch on CNBC's Squawk Box.

I am also pleased to report that our collective efforts in medical education, clinical care, and research have continued unabated during the summer months. I would like to highlight a few major developments:

• At our annual White Coat Ceremony at the end of August, I administered the Hippocratic Oath to our entering class of students, whose members are as highly qualified and enthusiastic as ever. Collectively, they have an average GPA of 3.77 and average MCAT scores of 35.3. These top students chose Weill Cornell for the opportunity to learn from our world-class faculty, and we are committed to helping them develop into the physicians and leaders of tomorrow.

Dr. Augustine M. K. Choi has been appointed Chairman of Medicine at Weill Cornell and Physician-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Choi was previously the Parker B. Francis Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Choi as our newest recruit to Weill Cornell.

• The Office of Academic Affairs has seen some changes in leadership. Dr. Sibel A. Klimstra is succeeding Dr. Shari Midoneck as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Dr. Klimstra is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and has served as Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell. In addition, following the retirement of Dr. Carlyle Miller, Dr. Joseph F. Murray has been appointed Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Equal Opportunity Programs. Dr. Murray is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry who has been extensively involved in medical education at Weill Cornell.

Commencement 2013 celebrated the academic accomplishments of 259 graduating students, including 94 doctors from New York and 35 from Qatar, 71 PhDs, 39 physician assistants, and 20 scientists with master's degrees.

• In June, the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain opened at NewYork-Presbyterian's Westchester campus in White Plains. Directed by Weill Cornell's Dr. Catherine Lord, the new center will raise the standard of clinical care for people with autism spectrum disorders.

• In July, New York Downtown Hospital merged with NewYork-Presbyterian to become its sixth campus, now known as NYP/Lower Manhattan Hospital. We are delighted to welcome the staff of NYP/Lower Manhattan to the Weill Cornell community.

• The research efforts of our faculty have continued to positively impact human health in areas as diverse as kidney transplantation, cocaine addiction, genomic liberty, and HIV. I look forward to reporting additional breakthroughs as our research enterprise expands dramatically in the months to come.

It is truly an exciting time at Weill Cornell and I am eagerly anticipating the opening of the Belfer Research Building in January 2014. This long-awaited event will usher in a new era at Weill Cornell, propelling us to the forefront of translational research and precision medicine. Many thanks to all of you for making this upcoming milestone possible.

With warm regards,

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

Posted September 13, 2013 9:45 AM | Permalink to this post