December 2023 Dean's Letter

Dear WCM Community, 

As we approach the end of 2023 and I complete my first quarter as Dean, I am energized by important milestones we have celebrated within the last few months. All three missions are now dramatically growing through major capital projects: expanding clinical patient care in Midtown, strengthening our research capabilities with new campus facilities, and redefining our student experience with our new student residence.

In the spirit of this season, I want our community to know just how grateful I am for your commitment. The power to change medicine belongs to our staff, faculty, clinicians, researchers, trainees and students who advance our critical missions every day. We are also thankful for our donors and our community partners whose generous support challenges us continually to strive for more. Together, my hope is that we leverage what we have built this year to accelerate our progress into the next year, and beyond.

In addition to gratitude, this season provides us an opportunity to pause and examine what we value most. Many of us will spend time with family and friends, and hopefully, take a break from our normal routines. Now more than ever, through turbulent times, I want to remind our community that we must always prioritize mental health—and continue to treat others with the same extraordinary level of care that we’re known for.

To capture just a few of our important recent milestones, and many significant individual and team accomplishments:

  • WCM is dramatically expanding its campus and research footprint in New York City by securing five floors of 1334 York Ave., the current home of Sotheby's auction house. The expansion will help accelerate innovation in medicine, delivering advanced treatments and therapies to patients.
  • WCM is expanding its real estate agreement at 575 Lexington Ave. to provide state-of-the-art clinical care at the Midtown Manhattan location starting in 2025. The new space, which represents a 100,000-foot expansion of current space in the same building, will be renovated to support patient services in a new convenient location.
  • Board of Fellows member Israel Englander provided generous funding for several institutional priorities that will have a transformative impact on our patients, faculty and entire research enterprise.
  • We have raised a total of $1.3 billion in support of our We’re Changing Medicine campaign, an outstanding achievement that will enable us to fulfill our ambitious goals and improve health care worldwide. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, faculty, alumni and friends, as of October 31, 2023, we have raised more than $70 million since the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1.
  • Ceremonial Groundbreaking for the new student residence was held on October 17. The event celebrated the extraordinary philanthropic support for one of the cornerstone projects of the We’re Changing Medicine campaign, currently under construction on East 74th Street and York Avenue, scheduled for completion in 2025. The new residence will expand the scope of the institution’s Upper East Side campus and nearly double the existing student residential living space.
  • Cathy Garzio has been appointed Executive Vice Provost and Chief Operating Officer. A distinguished academic medicine administrator, Cathy will oversee administrative departments that provide efficient daily operations for the institution’s workforce, effective early February.
  • Dr. Lisa Newman, Chief of the Section of Breast Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Dr. Jedd Wolchok, the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the most prestigious honors in health and medicine.
  • For a sixth year in a row, our institution was awarded the INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, which annually recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Dr. Maya Hogg, a leading hospitalist, was appointed chief of medicine at NYP Lower Manhattan Hospital and vice chair in the Weill Department of Medicine. As chief of medicine, Dr. Hogg will oversee inpatient and outpatient medical care at the hospital.
  • There were 21 major competitive research awards totaling $15,797,539 received by members of the WCM community between September 1, 2023, and October 31, 2023.
  • Dr. Jochen Buck and Dr. Lonny Levin’s research to develop a novel, on-demand contraception for men has led to the creation of a NewCo. Enterprise Innovation completed the out-licensing of their technology, and a startup Sacyl Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SACYL) was co-founded by Drs. Buck and Levin and Dr. Peter Meinke, the Sanders Director at the Sanders Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute.

Our commitment to serving patients, our communities and one another is what sets us apart as an institution. I hope to continue honoring that commitment in my service to you as Dean, and I expect we will achieve even greater feats in 2024.


Robert A. Harrington, M.D.
Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean
Weill Cornell Medicine
Provost for Medical Affairs
Cornell University