Office of the Dean > Dean's Letters

Support for Science

Dear Weill Cornell Medicine Community,

Science is not a partisan activity. However, in light of debates currently taking place in the national arena, I wanted to acknowledge the concerns that many of you have regarding federal funding for medical research. As your dean and as a recipient of government research grants myself, I share your unease.

A love of science and discovery drew many of us to our current careers and brought us to Weill Cornell Medicine. At institutions like ours, the knowledge gained through careful study and systematic investigation is cherished and applied to solving pressing medical problems. A commitment to biomedical research, with the goal of improving the health of the nation, is essential to our mission.

The value of science extends far beyond the lab and contributes to the wellbeing of our country at large. Through research, we move closer to developing new diagnostics and therapies that benefit patients. For example, a recent study found that about 10 percent of research grants issued by the National Institutes of Health generate a biomedical patent directly and 30% generate articles that are subsequently cited by patents. Crucially, investment in science also stimulates our economy and keeps our country competitive in the global arena. Continued advances in scientific knowledge require that the most promising trainees and the most talented scholars from all the over the world can travel here to learn and contribute.

I want to assure you that Weill Cornell Medicine is doing everything it can to advocate for continued, sustained funding for federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. We are working closely with the Association of American Medical Colleges and other advocacy partners in Washington to educate legislators about the significant societal impact of medical research. We regularly facilitate lobbying trips to Capitol Hill for faculty and students and plan to intensify our efforts in the current climate.

It is also important that academic researchers engage with the general public to raise awareness of the value of scientific investigation. By communicating more effectively about what we do and why it matters, we may acquire a broader base of support within our society.

Sincerely,

Augustine M.K. Choi, M.D.

Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean
Weill Cornell Medicine

Posted April 18, 2017 3:30 PM | Permalink to this post