October 2023 Dean's Letter

Dear WCM Community, 

It is the opportunity of a lifetime for me to serve this distinguished institution, which has been enriched by some of the most brilliant minds in science and has set the standard for excellence in medicine. Embracing the legacy and traditions forged here and learning from all of you as we advance our core missions to care, discover, and teach remain my top priorities during this transition.

It is an exciting time for us now as we look to expand our impact and presence in our community and around the globe. Some highlights that capture our progress within the last few months:

  • Thanks to the generosity of our donors, faculty, alumni, and friends, we closed the 2023 fiscal year with $335 million in new gifts and commitments, making it our second-best year on record and a tremendous achievement for our institution. Overall, we have raised $1.2 billion for our We’re Changing Medicinecampaign, nearing our goal of $1.5 billion. While we still have work to do, we are deeply appreciative of the progress to date.
  • A ceremonial groundbreaking for the new student residence will be held on Tuesday, October 17. The event will celebrate the progress made on one of the cornerstone projects of the We’re Changing Medicine campaign, currently under construction on East 74th Street and York Avenue and scheduled for completion in 2025.
  • On August 15, 106 incoming medical students in the Class of 2027 received their white coats during WCM’s annual White Coat Ceremony. We welcomed 231 new students across seven master’s programs at our Graduate School, and 87 new Ph.D. students—82 at the New York City campus, and five at the Houston Methodist Academic Institute.
  • Dr. Jonathan Weinsaft was named Chief of the Greenberg Division of Cardiology at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
  • Dr. Natalya Chernichenko was named Site Chief of Otolaryngology at NYP Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.
  • A multi-institutional team led by Dr. Mario Gaudino, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Assistant Dean for Clinical Trials, was awarded nearly $30 million in funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The award will fund the first study among women and Black and Hispanic patients comparing the effectiveness of two revascularization options used to treat coronary artery disease.
  • Enterprise Innovation reported 20 patentable invention disclosures and hosted the 2023 Biomedical Business Plan Challenge Pitch Day. They will host our annual Dean’s Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship on November 7.
  • The Office of Faculty launched a new faculty development program called the K Early Career Award Training (KECAT) Program. Created and directed by Dr. Genevieve Fouda, Assistant Dean of Faculty Development and Dr. Dolores Lamb, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, the program’s objective is to provide training in grant writing for career development (K-award) applications.
  • The Office of Medical Education held the 2023 Excellence in Medical Education Awards, honoring 34 individuals who represent a wide range of departments across the medical center with award categories in Teaching, Distinguished Service, and Lifetime Achievement.
  • 42 new doctors graduated from WCM-Qatar in May. WCM-Q has now produced a total of 546 medical doctors serving patients and pursuing research in leading healthcare institutions in Qatar, the US and all over the world since the college’s inaugural graduation ceremony in 2008. It celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. 
  • WCM continued to build brand awareness and forge meaningful relationships with local communities throughout the summer, with sponsorships and engagements at NYC Pride and the Hamptons Fine Art Fair. 

I am certain that we will continue to show how we are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in medicine. I am eager to hear from our community and learn how we can foster even greater collaborations. 


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