Dear Weill Cornell Medicine Community,
Our academic year kicked off with a new campaign, We Are Weill Cornell Medicine, to celebrate our community—the physicians, scientists, and staff who work so hard every day to fulfill our mission to care, discover, and teach. Through stories, videos, and photos, we've attempted to capture the passion and drive that motivate our colleagues and peers to always take their efforts to the next level. Departments and individuals throughout our community have responded with enthusiasm, engaging with the campaign using the social media hashtag #WeAreWCM. We look forward to highlighting additional outstanding members of our community in the coming months.
It's an exciting time at Weill Cornell Medicine, and I am honored to serve as interim dean as we continue to grow on all fronts. Clinically, we are reaching more patients than ever before at more than forty sites throughout New York City. Our researchers are spearheading groundbreaking initiatives in fields including precision medicine and cancer. We're also delighted to welcome the multitalented Class of 2020 to our community and to continue the ongoing rollout of our innovative medical curriculum.
I'm pleased to share just a few of our recent developments with you:
- Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia, in collaboration with NYP and NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, was awarded a major grant from the National Institutes of Health to help build the Cohort Program of President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative. Dr. Mark Rubin, Director of the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, is co-leading the grant, while Dr. Rainu Kaushal and Dr. Margaret Ross will provide expertise in electronic health records and the genomics of neurological disorders. They will be part of a nationwide effort to enroll 1 million volunteers and advance precision medicine.
- Dr. David E. Cohen joined us the Vincent Astor Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Weill Department of Medicine. Previously Director of Hepatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Director of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Dr. Cohen is an internationally renowned physician-scientist whose research focuses on regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism by the liver.
- Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian hosted an NYC regional Cancer Moonshot Summit on June 29, participating with more than 270 sites around the country. Hosted by Dr. Philip Steig, the symposium featured Dr. Lewis Cantley and a distinguished panel of experts from the Meyer Cancer Center who provided feedback on opportunities and challenges in cancer research to Vice President Joe Biden.
- Weill Cornell Medicine is one of only two medical schools in the country affiliated with two Honor Roll hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report. For the 16th consecutive year, NewYork-Presbyterian was ranked as the #1 hospital in New York, and it has risen to #6 in the United States. Our partner Houston Methodist Hospital claimed the rank of #19 in the nation.
- Weill Cornell Medicine has been awarded a Grand Challenges Explorations Grant, an initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to develop genetic maps of the bacteria in 54 international cities. Led by Dr. Christopher Mason, the project began on June 21 with Global City Sampling Day, when researchers descended on transportation systems and public spaces to collect specimens for genetic sequencing.
- Among the many research papers published by our faculty in the past few months, I would like to note a few: a study showing that fungi in a healthy gut may be as important for good health as beneficial intestinal bacteria; another indicating that 20 percent of people in nursing homes are abused by other residents; and a study suggesting that state prescription drug-monitoring programs may play an important role in stemming the current epidemic of opioid overdoses.
Thank you to the extraordinary faculty, staff, students, and partners who are committed to advancing our mission and improving the health of patients around the world. I am proud to be a part of this community and even prouder to know that together, We Are Weill Cornell Medicine.
Augustine M.K. Choi, M.D.
Interim Dean, Weill Cornell Medical College
Interim Provost for Medical Affairs, Cornell University
Weill Chairman, Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine