New York (February 12, 2014) — Weill Cornell Medical College announced today that it has appointed physician-scientist and Nobel laureate Dr. Stanley B. Prusiner, advertising legend Edward Meyer and his wife Sandra, and physician and health policy expert Dr. Thomas Lee to its Board of Overseers. The board is responsible for governance of Weill Cornell Medical College and the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.
Dr. Prusiner is director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. A world-renowned physician-scientist, Dr. Prusiner discovered an unprecedented class of pathogens — self-propagating, misshapen proteins, which he named prions — that have wide implications for many neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Prusiner demonstrated that when prions accumulate in the brain, they cause disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease — the human equivalent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy known colloquially as mad cow disease. Dr. Prusiner won the Lasker Award and later the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997 for this seminal discovery. Much of his current research focuses on developing therapeutics that lower the levels of prions in order to prevent neurodegeneration. Dr. Prusiner is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and is a foreign member of the Royal Society in London. He is the author of more than 500 research articles and the book "Madness and Memory: The Discovery of Prions — A New Biological Principle of Disease" (Yale University Press, 2014). He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Potamkin Prize for Alzheimer's Disease Research from the American Academy of Neurology (1991), the Richard Lounsbery Award for Extraordinary Scientific Research in Biology and Medicine from the National Academy of Sciences (2003) and the United States National Medal of Science (2009). He holds 50 issued or allowed United States patents, all of which are assigned to the University of California. Dr. Prusiner received his undergraduate degree and medical school training at the University of Pennsylvania, his postgraduate clinical training at UCSF and served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Public Health Service at the National Institutes of Health.
Mr. Meyer is the former chairman, president and CEO of Grey Global Group, one of the world's largest advertising and marketing and communications companies. He is now chairman of Ocean Road Advisors, Inc., which directs investment and related activities. Mr. Meyer is a Cornell University alumnus, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in economics with honors. Mrs. Meyer is a board member of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, a preeminent summer music festival on Long Island; a major supporter of Women for Women International, an institution which helps women move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency; a member of the Group for the East End, a Long Island land conservation organization; and a member of the Women and Foreign Policy Advisory Council of the Council on Foreign Relations. Last month, the Meyer family and the Edward and Sandra Meyer Foundation gifted $75 million to Weill Cornell Medical College to expand and enhance the medical college's distinguished cancer research and care programs at the newly named Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center. The Meyer Cancer Center is dedicated to using precision medicine and other cutting-edge biomedical approaches to spur and then translate research breakthroughs into the most advanced therapies for patients. In honor of the Meyer family's generous gift, Weill Cornell named its flagship building on 1300 York Ave. as the Sandra and Edward Meyer Research and Education Building.
Dr. Lee is chief medical officer for patient experience improvement firm Press Ganey Associates, Inc., bringing more than three decades of experience in health care performance improvement as a practicing physician, a leader in provider organizations, and a researcher and health policy expert. As CMO, he is responsible for developing clinical and operational strategies to advance the patient experience for health care providers across the country. Previously, he was network president for Partners Healthcare System, the integrated delivery system founded by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Lee is an internist and cardiologist, and practices primary care at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in history and science, received his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College and earned a master's in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Lee is a member of the boards of directors of Geisinger Health System, the Special Medical Advisory Committee of the Veterans Administration, the Panel of Health Advisors of the Congressional Budget Office, and the Editorial Board of The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Lee is the author of "Eugene Braunwald and the Rise of Modern Medicine" (Harvard University Press, 2013), and co-author of "Chaos and Organization in Health Care" (MIT Press, 2009).
Weill Cornell Medical College
Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.