NEW YORK (Nov. 28, 2023)—Weill Cornell Medicine 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 institution announced today.
Located one block from Weill Cornell Medicine’s main campus on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the site will add approximately 200,000 square feet of dedicated research space—an average of 40,000 square feet per floor—making it the institution’s largest expansion since the Belfer Research Building opened in 2014. Laboratories in the new medical research center, which will open in 2026, will focus on a breadth of foundational, clinical and translational research, utilizing advanced data science and computational techniques to revolutionize scientists’ understanding of disease.
“This state-of-the-art new medical research center, only steps from where our doctors see patients, will enable investigators to share ideas and technologies; drive discovery across disciplines; attract and retain the brightest scientific minds; sustain growth in our research funding; and further a sense of community,” said Dr. Robert A. Harrington, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine and provost for medical affairs of Cornell University. “By continuing to invest in science, we can change medicine, moving pioneering research more rapidly from lab concept to patient therapies.”
Weill Cornell Medicine’s research mission is a major focal point of the institution’s ambitious $1.5 billion We’re Changing Medicine fundraising campaign. This new facility will be essential for advancing research in key areas including neuroscience, immunotherapy, regenerative medicine, population health, women’s health and cardiovascular medicine, and will house the expansion of programs including the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine and the Meyer Cancer Center. By mining and analyzing large-scale data sets, a new Department of Systems and Computational Biomedicine will develop innovative algorithms and utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence to elevate all of Weill Cornell Medicine’s research efforts to better understand the basis of disease and identify new treatment strategies.
“Cornell’s enduring mission is to make a difference in our world through bold and visionary work,” said Martha E. Pollack, president of Cornell University. “Weill Cornell Medicine’s research expansion establishes the next frontier in scientific discovery and epitomizes our commitment to enhancing human health.”
Weill Cornell Medicine’s new research space will feature open workspaces and large conference rooms to encourage collaboration among onsite researchers and staff. The expansion will include dry lab space, which focuses on computational methods of research, and wet lab space, which uses drugs, chemicals and other biological matter for investigation. Wet labs, for example, will include large-scale modular lab benches that can be rearranged based on researchers’ specific equipment needs, allowing for increased flexibility among teams.
Over time, the facility will house more than 700 Weill Cornell Medicine faculty and staff. This will include existing personnel relocated from other institutional sites and newly recruited laboratory researchers, data scientists and business experts to help leverage new discoveries for the marketplace, while also offering increased space for future researchers. Newly vacated space across campus will be reallocated to support existing programs and ensure optimization across the institution’s tripartite mission to care, discover and teach.
Equipped with cutting-edge technology, the space will fuel high-impact, data-driven clinical research initiatives across diverse patient populations. For example, Weill Cornell Medicine scientists are currently refining an approach to monitor cancer status in patients after treatment using advanced DNA sequencing techniques and machine learning algorithms—tools that will determine whether the DNA circulating in the blood contains mutations indicative of cancer. Advances in clinical data management have significantly enhanced investigators’ ability to mine large data sets for critical insights into disease development and progression. Through the new space’s capabilities, an expanded clinical trial portfolio will hasten the translation of promising research from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside.
“Our institution’s critical research expansion will accelerate innovation in medicine so we can bring more cutting-edge treatments and therapies to patients,” said Jessica M. Bibliowicz, chair of the Weill Cornell Medicine Board of Fellows. “This new space will empower our scientists and physicians to discover and develop solutions to some of our greatest health challenges and ensure a brighter future for generations around the world.”
The facility is situated in close proximity to Weill Cornell Medicine’s central campus and its hospital partner NewYork-Presbyterian. Its bright, modern design will feature natural light, large windows and high ceilings. Weill Cornell Medicine will seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, for the new space—prioritizing sustainability and energy efficient design and technology.
Phase one of the expansion is expected to launch in early 2024 with construction on two floors and an anticipated opening date in Fall 2026.
Weill Cornell Medicine
Weill Cornell Medicine is committed to excellence in patient care, scientific discovery and the education of future physicians in New York City and around the world. The doctors and scientists of Weill Cornell Medicine—faculty from Weill Cornell Medical College, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Weill Cornell Physician Organization—are engaged in world-class clinical care and cutting-edge research that connect patients to the latest treatment innovations and prevention strategies. Located in the heart of the Upper East Side’s scientific corridor, Weill Cornell Medicine’s powerful network of collaborators extends to its parent university Cornell University; to Qatar, where Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar offers a Cornell University medical degree; and to programs in Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Weill Cornell Medicine faculty provide exemplary patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester Behavioral Health Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens and NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Weill Cornell Medicine is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.