Dr. Carl Nathan Wins Heritage Healthcare Innovation Award

Dr. Carl Nathan, the incoming dean of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, has won a 2017 Heritage Healthcare Innovation Award.

Dr. Nathan, who is also chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the R.A. Rees Pritchett Professor of Microbiology at Weill Cornell Medicine, received the award at a May 22 presentation by the Heritage Provider Network, in partnership with Crain’s New York Business. The awards recognize healthcare clinicians, administrators and researchers who are improving access to and quality of healthcare in metropolitan New York.

“It’s an honor to be acknowledged by the Heritage Provider Network for the teamwork of my lab mates and collaborators. The privilege we’ve had of exploring innovative approaches would not have been possible without the generous philanthropic support of Abby and Howard Milstein and collaboration with pharmaceutical companies,” said Dr. Nathan. The Heritage Research Investigators in Translational Medicine Award acknowledges his lab’s efforts to accelerate the transition of innovative treatments from the lab to patients.

Dr. Nathan is one of the world’s leading authorities on tuberculosis and an outspoken proponent for the need to develop new antibiotics. He was the founding director of the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program between Weill Cornell Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The Rockefeller University, and a scientific adviser for Bridge Medicines, a drug discovery company launched last year by the Tri-Institutional teams, a pharmaceutical company and healthcare investment firms.

It is this type of relationship between academic research, biotech and pharmaceutical communities that will help New York City expand its biomedical research ecosystem, Dr. Nathan said, and ultimately benefit patients.

“We’ve developed a successful model of collaboration and innovation between academic medical centers and industry,” said Dr. Nathan, speaking as a member of the board of directors of the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, which seeks to advance groundbreaking biological discoveries made at Weill Cornell Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The Rockefeller University, and with the help of partner Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, go from the lab to proof-of-concept studies, and from there to clinical trials through Bridge Medicines. “We hope to continue chipping away at the inefficiencies and exorbitant costs associated with traditional drug discovery through relationships like this one.”

Dr. Timothy Wright, a professor of applied biomechanics in orthopedic surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine, was also a finalist in Heritage Health’s Translational Medicine Award category, as was Weill Cornell Medicine alumnus, Dr. Piraye Beim, the founder and CEO of Celmatix. Dr. Christopher Hillyer, a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, who is also the president and CEO of the New York Blood Center, was a finalist in Heritage Healthcare’s Organizational Leadership Award category.

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