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Dean's Letter - May 2016

Dear Weill Cornell Medicine Community,

Together we have accomplished so much during my time as dean.

Weill Cornell Medicine was firmly set on a trajectory of growth when I arrived here in 2012. We have kept that forward momentum going so successfully that we became the fastest growing medical school in the country in terms of revenue between 2009-2014. Our mission to care, discover, and teach--all in the service of patients--has never been in clearer focus.

An increasing number of our doctors are now seeing patients in Brooklyn and Queens, as well as throughout Manhattan. Focused recruitment of outstanding physician-scientists and strategic initiatives in faculty development and entrepreneurship are invigorating our research enterprise. And with our new interactive medical curriculum and our unwavering commitment to diversity, our students are receiving the preparation they need to become the next generation of leaders in healthcare and biomedical science.

I am proud of all that we have done together to advance this great institution, and it has been an amazing journey working with all of you. In stepping down as dean, I know that I am leaving Weill Cornell Medicine at a time when it can only continue to thrive. And like so many people around the world, I consider myself lucky to be forever part of the Weill Cornell Medicine family.

As always, members of our community have been very busy in the past few months, and I am pleased to share with you highlights of their myriad activities.

  • Medical students in Weill Cornell Medicine's Class of 2016 celebrated a successful Match, with 84% of students matching to positions with academic medical centers ranked in the top 50. In Qatar, 19 out of 22 students matched to residency programs in the United States, including three who will be joining us at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
  • The inaugural Gale and Ira Drukier Prize in Children's Health Research was awarded to Dr. Sing Sing Way, the Pauline and Lawson Reed Chair in Infectious Disease at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. At an event held on March 16 at the Belfer Research Building, Dr. Way presented a public lecture on his groundbreaking work aimed at understanding maternal immune tolerance of the fetus during pregnancy.
  • The Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease officially opened its permanent laboratories in the Belfer Research Building with a ribbon cutting ceremony moderated by Jessica Bibliowicz, Chairman of the Weill Cornell Medicine Board of Overseers on March 17. Researchers at the institute, which was established thanks to the vision and generosity of longstanding benefactor Jill Roberts, have already made significant progress in understanding the molecular underpinnings of inflammatory bowel disease and have published their findings in leading scientific journals.
  • Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian, and Houston Methodist have established a new collaborative fellowship program to create highly trained bioethicists. Directed by Dr. Joseph Fins, it will offer a two-year joint curriculum and operate in parallel with a Houston-based fellowship program sponsored by Houston Methodist and Baylor College of Medicine. Both programs are part of the New York-Houston Medical Ethics Consortium, co-chaired by Dr. Michael Stewart.
  • The Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute has been building a robust infrastructure for drug discovery in partnership with Takeda, focusing until recently on the development of small molecule drugs. Its efforts are now expanding to include the translation of research results from members of the Tri-Institutional community into new antibody therapies for patients.
  • Our faculty have published a number of high-profile research articles recently, including: a possible way to starve immune cells that promote allergic inflammation in the lung, the influence of gut bacteria on the severity of stroke, and the effects of a gene that regulates iron uptake in the lung and possibly worsens chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • As the academic year and my time as dean draw to a close, I am deeply grateful for the leadership of our Board of Overseers, the contributions of our faculty and staff, our partnerships with affiliated institutions, the enthusiasm of our talented students and alumni, and the support of our many friends. You are Weill Cornell Medicine--and you are what make it special.

    Warm regards,
    Laurie H. Glimcher, MD
    Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean
    Weill Cornell Medicine