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Dean's Letter - February 2014

Dear Weill Cornell Community:

The official opening of the Belfer Research Building occurred on January 31, after more than seven years of planning and hard work. This new building comes at one of the most exciting moments in biomedical science, when we have the technological capacity and the knowledge to really harness the power of genomics and translational research. Discoveries made at the laboratory bench are being delivered to the patient's bedside at a faster rate than ever before.

This beautiful, environmentally friendly and energy efficient new building, equipped with the most cutting-edge scientific resources and technologies, will transform Weill Cornell's biomedical research enterprise. The space, the infrastructure, and the people inside — all of these will combine to foster a new era of innovation, collaboration, and discovery at our Medical College.

We already have some of the most illustrious physicians and scientists on our faculty. And I'm confident that our impact on health in New York, around the country, and beyond is going to get even bigger with the opening of the Belfer Research Building. This facility will position us at the vanguard of biomedical research and will help us bring the most innovative cures and treatments to patients for generations to come.

Our institution could not have reached this exciting point without the dedication and support of countless individuals. Heartfelt thanks go to Sandy Weill and all of our Overseers for championing our efforts to expand our research enterprise, even during difficult economic times. The tireless work of our Overseer Real Estate, Renovation and Facilities Planning Committee and our Campaign Steering Committee has been indispensable. I am deeply grateful for the spearheading efforts of my predecessor Antonio M. Gotto, Jr.; the foresight and generosity of Renée and Robert Belfer and the many donors who supported the Belfer Research Building; the invaluable contributions of my senior administration and innumerable faculty and staff members throughout the Medical College; and the work of Ennead Architects, Tishman Construction, and the hundreds of subcontractors who created this building from the bottom up.

This new year is definitely off to a thrilling start. In addition to the opening of the Belfer Research Building, we've had several other important developments in recent months:

Sandra and Edward Meyer, two of our newest Overseers, and the Sandra and Edward Meyer Foundation have made a remarkable $75 million gift that will enable us to develop the newly named Meyer Cancer Center into one of the leading centers for oncology research around. We have also named our main building at 1300 York Avenue the Sandra and Edward Meyer Research and Education Building in their honor.

Dr. Rainu Kaushal has been appointed Chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, formerly known as the Department of Public Health. She is also leading a consortium of 22 New York City health care organizations that was recently awarded $7 million to develop a city-wide research data infrastructure to support patient-centered clinical research.

Dr. Matthew Fink has been appointed Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs at Weill Cornell, with responsibility for helping lead our efforts at NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital and its neighboring communities.

Dr. David Christini has been named Associate Dean for Programmatic Development of the Graduate School. He will be developing academic and curricular strategy, as well as strengthening connections between graduate programs and between the Graduate School, Medical College, and Cornell Tech.

Dr. Michael Foley is the new Sanders Director of the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute and Director of its Sanders Innovation and Education Initiative.

• The American Austrian Foundation celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Salzburg Weill Cornell Seminars, an important global health initiative.

• Our faculty received numerous awards recognizing achievements in research and clinical care. Dr. Michael Pesko was named one of Forbes Magazine's "30 Under 30" in science and health care for his research into how and why smokers continue to use cigarettes. Dr. Richard Silver received an honorary award from the Israel Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusion and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for lifetime achievement in the field of hematology. And Dr. Joseph Fins received the Award for Outstanding Service from the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.

Weill Cornell is at an incredible time in medical research and in healthcare. We are well positioned to be pioneers and leaders in this era of transformative science, and I'm honored to be leading Weill Cornell at such a pivotal juncture in its history. Thank you all for your myriad and ongoing forms of support.

With warm regards,

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

Posted February 13, 2014 3:44 PM | Permalink to this post