Weill Cornell Medicine to Help Plan Outpatient Clinic in China


NEW YORK (November 11, 2015) — A global healthcare leader dedicated to enhancing human health around the world, Weill Cornell Medicine has entered into an agreement with Top Spring Huaxia Medical Investment Co. Ltd. to help it develop a modern outpatient diagnostic clinic in China, the institution announced today.

Under the agreement, Weill Cornell Medicine will collaborate with Top Spring Huaxia Medical, a diversified enterprise with expertise in property development, healthcare, and finance, to help it create the clinic located in Shenzhen, China's fourth-largest city. One of the few American academic medical institutions to engage in Chinese healthcare, Weill Cornell Medicine will leverage its expertise in clinical care and continuing medical education to provide critical insights that will inform the planning process for the clinic. A ceremony on Nov. 4 in Beijing, attended by officials from Weill Cornell Medicine and Top Spring Huaxia Medical, celebrated the agreement's signing.

Working with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, one of the nation's most comprehensive healthcare delivery networks, Weill Cornell Medicine will help lead a feasibility study that will determine how to best structure the clinic and what medical specialties and diagnostic capabilities to deliver. As currently envisioned, the clinic will be able to provide advanced patient care by incorporating Western medical standards, practice guidelines, and innovations, and Weill Cornell Medicine will provide leadership in the standards and protocols used. Weill Cornell Medicine will also help establish a continuing medical education center for practicing physicians, which will encompass an entire floor of the facility. There, doctors practicing in Shenzhen and in other regions of China will learn about the latest Western practice techniques and standards across multiple specialties.

"Weill Cornell Medicine has a proud history of leading the way in medicine, providing our patients with the finest care," said Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine. "This commitment extends beyond our national doorstep; it is our responsibility as doctors and scientists to share the latest medical innovations globally. We are proud to collaborate with Top Spring Huaxia Medical to realize this vision, which will benefit many patients in Shenzhen."

"Weill Cornell Medicine has established a successful model for delivering exemplary care — from primary and specialty care to imaging — to our patients throughout New York City," said Dr. Michael G. Stewart, vice dean of Weill Cornell Medicine, and professor and chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. "We are deeply committed to extending this vital work around the world. By offering our medical expertise and technology to our new partners at Top Spring Huaxia Medical, we will bring a new model of healthcare to the people of Shenzhen."

"Our cooperation with Weill Cornell Medicine will be very constructive to the development of medical technology, management and medical education in China," said Shao Chunwei, chairman of Top Spring Huaxia Medical Investment Co. Ltd. "We welcome Weill Cornell Medicine's presence in China, and we are confident that the cooperation we have with Weill Cornell Medicine will be a fruitful one."

Weill Cornell Medicine's collaboration with Top Spring Huaxia Medical in Shenzhen is the latest example of the institution's commitment to global health. It has established clinical and research programs on every continent except Antarctica, and through Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Cornell University is the first in the United States to offer a medical degree oversees. Weill Cornell Medicine forged an affiliation with Bugando Medical Centre and the Weill Bugando University College of Health Sciences in Mwanza, Tanzania. And through a partnership with The Open Medical Institute, Weill Cornell Medicine faculty teach Western medical knowledge and train top foreign doctors during seminars hosted in Salzburg, Austria.

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 comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens. Weill Cornell Medicine is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.

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Sanford I. Weill Retires as Chair of the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers After 20 Years of Transformative Leadership


Jessica M. Bibliowicz, Successful Business Executive, Named New Chair of the Board

NEW YORK (December 9, 2014) — After 20 years of bold and visionary leadership that has transformed Weill Cornell Medical College into a global healthcare enterprise, Sanford I. Weill will retire as chair of the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers on Jan. 1. Jessica M. Bibliowicz, a successful entrepreneur in the financial services business for nearly three decades, who has served on the Board of Overseers for the past decade, will succeed Mr. Weill, the new chair emeritus.

Jessica M. Bibliowicz and Sanford I. Weill

Jessica M. Bibliowicz and Sanford I. Weill. All photos: John Abbott

The transition comes as the 116-year-old medical college embarks on a new chapter that builds upon the landmark successes Mr. Weill has realized in his two decades as chair. His enduring dedication to the institution that bears his name has resulted in an unprecedented expansion that is exemplified in Weill Cornell's excellence in medical education, biomedical research and clinical care. In collaboration with medical college leadership, Ms. Bibliowicz will help lead Weill Cornell as it continues to break new ground in New York and abroad by expanding its clinical enterprise and forging public-private partnerships that accelerate groundbreaking scientific discoveries for patients. Working closely with Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College, Ms. Bibliowicz will help guide its transformation of medical education and drive dialogue on innovative healthcare delivery models that optimize the value and quality of patient care.

"When I joined the Board of Overseers more than 30 years ago, I was driven to try and make a difference in the world," Mr. Weill said. "It's truly humbling to see just how much of an impact Weill Cornell has had around the globe, and I believe we are poised to thrive far into the future. Weill Cornell Medical College is more to me than just an esteemed medical school — the people here are my extended family. I could think of no one better than Jessica to shepherd Weill Cornell into the next stage of its evolution."

"It's an honor and privilege to be able to support Weill Cornell Medical College's tremendous efforts to educate, innovate and heal," Ms. Bibliowicz said. "As a Cornell University alum, it's especially meaningful to me to try and help take this distinguished institution to the next level of excellence in New York and beyond. Our ever-changing healthcare landscape has sparked exciting opportunities to help shape national conversation, and I'm eager to work with Dr. Glimcher and the Board of Overseers as we strive to improve and prolong human health."

Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, Sanford I. Weill and Jessica M. Bibliowicz

In the three decades he has served on the Board of Overseers and in the two decades he has been chair, Mr. Weill has been much more than a governing force. His benevolence and unwavering resolve to ensure a healthier future has touched every program area at Weill Cornell, establishing the medical school as an innovator in basic, clinical and translational research, and forging a new paradigm for global engagement and medical education.

Under Mr. Weill's leadership, the medical college has built bridges nationally and abroad. Weill Cornell forged an affiliation with Houston Methodist in Texas and, with Cornell University, established a medical school in Doha, Qatar. Since its inception in 2002, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, which offers a Cornell University medical degree, has created 181 new doctors who have continued their graduate medical training in residencies and clinical research at outstanding institutions in the United States and Qatar. The Weill Cornell Qatar location has also established a world-class biomedical team and contributed to Qatar's goal of becoming a knowledge-based economy. In addition, Weill Cornell in 2007 established a formal affiliation with Bugando Medical Centre and the Weill Bugando University College of Health Sciences in Mwanza, Tanzania, named in recognition of the Weills' support. Weill Bugando has graduated an average of 100 new doctors every year for the past seven years in Mwanza, expanding Tanzania's core of providers who are empowered to deliver the best patient care, despite a resource-limited setting. This unique educational partnership has spurred new possibilities for cultural exchange, providing medical students at Weill Cornell in New York and residents at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital with the opportunity to spend a month or two in Mwanza practicing medicine the way it used to be, with limited modern technology. They return to New York with a greater sense of gratification that reaffirms their commitment to global health and a career in academic medicine.

In recognition that building a healthier future also requires training an exceptional cadre of new doctors and scientists, Mr. Weill and his wife Joan in 1992 established the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Education Center, the heart of the medical college's education program, with their first gifts to Weill Cornell. The Weill Education Center comprises the Weill Auditorium and 20 classrooms and teaching laboratories outfitted with modern audio-visual, networking and wireless technology to provide the next generation of medical professionals with the best environment for learning.

Sanford I. Weill

In 2007, Weill Cornell opened the Weill Greenberg Center in New York City, the medical college's flagship and award-winning ambulatory care center, and in January opened the adjacent Belfer Research Building, a transformative 18-story, state-of-the-art facility that ensures that the medical college remains at the forefront of scientific discovery. Their proximity to each other ensures that breakthroughs made in the laboratory can be rapidly applied to patient care as improved treatments and therapies. Weill Cornell has successfully recruited some of the world's leading physicians and scientists to conduct this translational research. Last year, the Weills established the Weill Center for Metabolic Health, which strives to understand the basic biology and genetics of diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, and translate discoveries into next-generation therapeutic approaches. Weill Cornell is conducting a national search for a renowned scientist to lead these efforts.

A self-made man who exemplifies the philosophy of leading by example, Mr. Weill, Mrs. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation have generously given more than $550 million in gifts to support Weill Cornell Medical College. They include a groundbreaking $100 million gift in 1998 — at the time the largest in Cornell University's history — a second $100 million gift in 2002, a $250 million gift in 2007 and another $100 million gift in 2013 to establish the Weill Center for Metabolic Health, as well as the Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation Global Health Research Laboratories. In honor and appreciation of their unparalleled dedication and enduring commitment, the institution in 1998 was renamed Weill Cornell Medical College. With an additional gift of $50 million to Cornell University, the Weills' total giving tops $600 million.

The Weills' altruism inspired and galvanized Weill Cornell's numerous, loyal donors to support the medical college. In Mr. Weill's 20 years as chair, the medical college has raised $3 billion. Earlier this year, Weill Cornell celebrated the Weills' legacy by naming its department of medicine the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine.

"What Sandy has done for Weill Cornell, New York and the world is just breathtaking — it's a labor of love that will touch the lives of generations," Dr. Glimcher said. "His unwavering leadership, profound magnanimity and steadfast resolve to enhance medical education, advance discoveries and enrich clinical care is his lasting legacy. Jessica is an outstanding choice to assume Sandy's mantle and steer Weill Cornell into the future. I couldn't be more thrilled for what's to come."

"Sandy is a businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist, visionary leader, chairman emeritus of Citigroup, Cornell alumnus and my good friend," said Cornell University President David Skorton. "As chair of the Board of Overseers of Weill Cornell Medical College, he has nurtured the college's growth, guided its progress and expanded its capacity for rigorous medical education, path-breaking research and superb clinical care — to the enormous benefit of our students, faculty, researchers and patients. I am delighted that Jessica Bibliowicz, who has provided exemplary leadership to the university and the medical college, has agreed to take on this new role as chair of the Board of Overseers."

"It is impossible to overstate the impact that Sandy has had on Weill Cornell Medical College, and on the whole of Cornell University, during his time as chair of the Board of Overseers," said Robert Harrison, chair of the Cornell University Board of Trustees. "He is someone who can not only articulate a strong and inspirational vision, but also bring people together to do what it takes to make the vision a reality. Although I will miss working with Sandy, I am very much looking forward to working with Jessica in her new role. She has been a very effective trustee and overseer for many years and clearly has the talent and energy to lead the Board of Overseers and the medical school to new heights."

About Jessica M. Bibliowicz

A Cornell University graduate in 1981 and after working 18 years in financial services, Ms. Bibliowicz became CEO of National Financial Partners in 1999, a financial services firm that specializes in benefits and wealth management. The company went public in 2003 and was sold to Madison Dearborn in 2013. Ms. Bibliowicz joined the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers in 2004. She is also a member of the Cornell University Board of Trustees and a member of the Cornell NYC Tech Campus Task Force. Currently, Ms. Bibliowicz is a senior advisor at Bridge Growth Partners and serves on the board of directors of Sotheby's(NYSE: BID); Realogy (NYSE: RLGY); and the Asia Pacific Fund (NYSE: APB). She is a board director/trustee of Prudential Insurance Funds and is also on the board of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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, Cornell University is the first in the U.S. to offer a 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.

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A Slice of Life at Weill Cornell


As an Olympic swimmer, Dr. Ngozi Monu knows what it takes to beat the clock. Representing Nigeria in the 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing summer games, Dr. Monu holds her native country’s record for women’s 50 and 100 meter freestyle.

While she values these accomplishments, Dr. Monu left the Olympics with more than just time records. Competing around the world exposed her to critical health disparities and ingrained in her the importance of timely access to care.

"I got to see how everyone addresses problems and thought a lot about equalizing resources around the world," she said. "Everyone should have access to basic healthcare resources."

It helped inspire Dr. Monu, 33, to earn a doctorate in biomedical sciences, and it drove her to Weill Cornell Medical College, where she’s a first-year medical student.

Last month, Dr. Monu and three of her classmates in the Class of 2018 sat down with Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell, at nearby Patsy's Pizzeria to discuss the state of medicine, life at Weill Cornell and the role of doctors in the 21st century.

"As the dean, it's vital for me to meet them and hear what's on their minds," Dr. Glimcher said. "It's also one of the best parts of my job."

Foremost on the students' minds was Weill Cornell's new curriculum, which was unveiled earlier this fall after four years of planning. The curriculum integrates basic science with patient care and shortens didactics to a year and a half, so students can get into the clinic earlier. It also emphasizes physicianship and lifelong learning, key to nurturing the next generation of physicians.

"I think physicianship is a very important component of being a successful doctor," said M.D.-Ph.D. student Rhiannon Aguilar, 20, of Maryland. "I had never heard the word before coming to Weill Cornell, but after being introduced to the concept, I think it's a perfect way to describe many of the intangible aspects of being a doctor, including professionalism, empathy for patients and awareness of the healthcare environment as a whole."

While she may not have known about physicianship, she has been practicing many of its key elements for most of her life. As Mexican-Americans, Aguilar’s father and grandfather experienced education-related discrimination, and encouraged her to work hard in school and be successful. Taking the encouragement to heart, she graduated from her science-tech magnet high school after only three years, and majored in chemistry at the University of Maryland. But it was her experience at the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. Program's Gateways to the Laboratory Program that committed her to a life as a physician-scientist.

"It was my first time doing research, the first time living in New York and first time meeting medical and graduate students," Aguilar said. "Overall, I loved it! I think my biggest takeaway from the program was that I started to feel like I was really capable of pursuing a graduate and medical education."

Bench to bedside research is a true passion for Aguilar’s classmate, Daniel Starer-Stor, a former professional tap dancer who performed with the New Tap Dance Orchestra. Starer-Stor, 23, of New York, had always been interested in medicine, but was particularly inspired after working with Dr. Doug Turnbull at Newcastle University in England.

A neurologist, Dr. Turnbull is investigating the biology of mitochondria, the cells’ powerhouse, in order to better understand how diseases characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction develop in children. Fascinated by his research, Starer-Stor spent a winter term working in Dr. Turnbull’s lab and learned about more than just the inheritance of defective mitochondria.

"He would care for these children and really try to figure out what's going on in the lab so he could bring those advances in care to his future patients," said M.D.-Ph.D. student Starer-Stor.

That's precisely the point of Weill Cornell's new curriculum, which is designed to empower the next generation of physicians and scientists to make groundbreaking research discoveries and deliver exceptional patient care.

Compassion is an integral part of exceptional patient care, something Weill Cornell medical student Eric Kutscher understands firsthand. In 2011, Kutscher was rejected from donating blood because he identified as a gay male, igniting in him a passion for public and sexual health advocacy. The 23-year-old New York native served as an HIV/AIDS counselor and wrote a blog for the Huffington Post about the need for comprehensive sex education in schools.

Kutscher spent a semester abroad in Kenya during his junior year at Columbia University, studying circumcision and surveying public opinion. That’s where he first learned about Weill Cornell's Division of Infectious Diseases, led by Dr. Roy Gulick. The division conducts research, treats patients and provides education and training in infectious diseases in locations around the world, including New York and Weill Bugando in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Kutscher's experience in Kenya galvanized him to go to medical school and complement his interest in advocacy with patient care. Inspired by Dr. Gulick, he hopes to one day open a clinic in New York City and provide compassionate patient care to HIV/AIDS patients and those at the greatest risk of contracting the disease.

"As a gay man," Kutscher said, "it's very important for me to see other gay men who are ahead in their field and are doing things pertaining to HIV and AIDS that involve our community so much."

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Weill Cornell Names Its Department of Medicine for Joan and Sanford I. Weill


Joan and Sanford I. Weill

Weill Cornell Medical College has named its department of medicine the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine in honor of the couple's longstanding dedication to the medical college. The naming is in recognition of the Weills' recent $100 million gift — which also established the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Center for Metabolic Health — and their historic $250 million gift to the Discoveries that Make a Difference campaign.

"This is a tremendous moment for Weill Cornell and for its largest department — a moment that will allow us to continue delivering innovative treatments and cures to patients in New York City and throughout the world — and we are grateful to Joan and Sandy for making this possible," said Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell.

Over the last 15 years, Mr. and Mrs. Weill and their family foundation have gifted more than $600 million to Weill Cornell. In 1998, they donated $100 million, after which medical college leaders renamed the institution Weill Cornell Medical College.

The Weill Department of Medicine's mission is to offer and enhance comprehensive patient care programs, shape the next generation of physicians and scientists through modern curriculum, residency programs and fellowships in subspecialty areas of medicine, recruit the top physicians in the world, and fuel research synergies within and between departments. It is led by Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the department's newly endowed Weill Chairman. Weill Cornell is one of only a few medical schools to have a named department of medicine.

"We are honored and deeply humbled to have our name associated with this excellent department," said Mr. Weill, who joined the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers in 1982 and became its chairman in 1995. "The Weill Department of Medicine spans nearly all disciplines and disease areas, with faculty conducting cutting-edge research and outstanding clinical care. It is the embodiment of our vision for collaborative, translational medicine."

the Weill Bugando University College of Health Sciences in Tanzania

Joan and Sanford I. Weill celebrate the inauguration of the Weill Bugando University College of Health Sciences in Mwanza, Tanzania, in 2007.

The largest department at the medical college, the Weill Department of Medicine comprises more than 1,700 faculty members, clinicians and research scientists in 21 divisions, programs and centers that span the disciplines, from cardiology and global health to hematology/medical oncology and nephrology and hypertension. Faculty are also collaborators on the medical college's myriad multidisciplinary translational research centers and institutes, using their expertise to rapidly translate research breakthroughs made at the lab bench into advanced treatments and therapies for patients in the clinic.

"Our renowned faculty in the Weill Department of Medicine are at the front lines of teaching, basic and clinical research, and patient care — making a difference every day," Dr. Choi said. "We are immensely thankful to Joan and Sandy Weill for their generous contributions and devoted support over the years to shape the future of medicine."

Using cross-disciplinary expertise and cutting-edge technology, researchers in the Weill Center for Metabolic Health will strive to understand the basic biology and genetics of diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, and translate these discoveries into novel therapeutic approaches. Weill Cornell is conducting a national search for a top-tier scientist to lead these efforts. In addition to the center, the medical college also established the Sanford I. Weill Professorship of Metabolic Research.

Under Mr. Weill's leadership, Weill Cornell built the Weill Greenberg Center, its award-winning ambulatory care center, and nearly doubled its research space with the new Belfer Research Building, which opened last month. The medical college has also recruited numerous leading physicians and scientists to investigate new treatments and therapies and apply them rapidly in the clinic, while building bridges nationally and abroad. Weill Cornell forged an affiliation with Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas and, with Cornell University, established a medical school in Doha, Qatar. Cornell is the only such institution to offer its M.D. degree outside of the country. In addition, Weill Cornell established a formal affiliation with Bugando Medical Centre and the Weill Bugando University College of Health Sciences in Mwanza, Tanzania, named in recognition of the support of Joan and Sandy Weill.

For this commitment to global health, the medical college has also named the Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation Global Health Research Laboratories. The new program is designed to expand and enrich Weill Cornell's global health offerings and recruit new scientists who will find new therapies and treatments for the world's most intractable health care challenges.

"Etched in the very fabric that binds Weill Cornell Medical College are Joan and Sandy, magnanimous and visionary, hopeful and humble," Dr. Glimcher said. "From medical education to biomedical research, clinical care to global health, the central current flowing through each prong of the medical college's mission is their dream for a healthier future. This dream is what we strive to realize in everything we do."

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State of the Medical College: Weill Cornell Rises to Health Care Challenges


Academic medical centers face an uncertain future, especially as federal research funds continue to shrink, but Weill Cornell Medical College is poised not only to thrive, but to lead the way in providing excellent education, research and clinical care.

In Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher's annual State of the Medical College address — her second as the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College — she said that Weill Cornell is positioned for a prosperous future by evolving with the ever-changing health care environment.

Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher; State of the Medical College address

Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher delivers annual State of the Medical College address on Dec. 4. Photo credit: Ira Fox

Standing in front of a crowded Uris Auditorium on Dec. 4, Dr. Glimcher reviewed the medical college's accomplishments over the past year and shared her goals for 2014 — among them, establishing a new medical school curriculum, strengthening the biomedical research enterprise, and expanding Weill Cornell's footprint in clinical care.

"I think that we have made some significant progress," Dr. Glimcher said. "I think we are already on our way to putting many of these agendas into action here at Weill Cornell — thanks to the help and commitment and passion of all of you."

While Weill Cornell is in the black, it's not immune to the challenges facing all academic medical centers, she said. Research funding from the National Institutes of Health has plummeted 20 percent over the past decade, with the $1.7 billion in cuts enacted this spring through sequestration inflicting even greater pain on scientists who can no longer obtain research grants. It's clear, Dr. Glimcher said, that the academic medical centers can no longer rely solely on traditional funding streams for their work.

To counteract Washington belt-tightening, Dr. Glimcher said the medical college will continue to seek philanthropy and build public-private partnerships to spur advances in each facet of Weill Cornell's mission.

"We need more resources because we have big plans in medical education, in research and in clinical expansion," she said.

Reimagining Medical School Curriculum

To prepare the next generation of physicians and scientists, Weill Cornell faculty have spent the last few years rewriting the medical school curriculum, which was last updated in 1996. Leadership will pilot the new educational blueprint — which will accelerate students' access to the clinic by a semester — in January with full roll-out next fall.

"Our curriculum has trained our students well, but needed to be reinvigorated and altered to fit the very rapidly changing health care environment and very rapidly changing research environment," Dr. Glimcher said.

This reform will enhance Weill Cornell's education program, which continues to attract the best and brightest students, Dr. Glimcher said. The diverse Class of 2017 — 19 percent of its students are from groups underrepresented in medicine — has the highest mean Medical College Admission Test score ever recorded at the medical college, and boasts 18 M.D.-Ph.D. students. At Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, nine of the 41 students in this year's entering class have successfully completed the medical college's pre-pre-med and pre-med programs.

The Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, led by new Dean Dr. Gary Koretzky, accepted 56 students from 653 applicants. Some 13 percent are from groups underrepresented in medicine. In the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. program, ranked first among M.D.-Ph.D. programs nationally for diversity, 24 percent of students enrolled in the program come from groups underrepresented in medicine. Last winter the program received a perfect score in its NIH Medical Scientist Training Program renewal grant application.

Expanding Weill Cornell's Biomedical Enterprise

Much of the medical college's successes are entwined with the prowess of its faculty, Dr. Glimcher said. Over the past two years, Weill Cornell has added 32 leading scientists to its ranks — among them nine senior recruits — who together will advance basic, clinical and translational research along with clinical care at the medical college.

She highlighted the backgrounds of three new leaders at Weill Cornell — Dr. Koretzky, who is also senior associate dean for research, Dr. Augustine Choi, chairman of the Department of Medicine, and Dr. Hugh Hemmings, chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology.

Weill Cornell is fortunate to already have a first-rate biomedical enterprise, Dr. Glimcher said, which will be enriched with the opening of the Belfer Research Building next month and efforts to recruit more of the world's leading lights — all possible due to the generosity of Weill Cornell benefactors.

To advance its mission of bringing the most advanced care to patients, Weill Cornell has established nearly a dozen interdisciplinary centers and institutes — some in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital — that transform the paradigm for high-impact biomedical research. These hubs — the Cancer Center at Weill Cornell and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Institute for Precision Medicine among them — are charged with fostering collaboration between basic and translational scientists and clinicians to accelerate the application of groundbreaking discoveries made in the lab to innovative therapies for patients.

But drug development cannot be done in a vacuum. It is crucial to get the private sector involved to help ensure that findings in academic labs are translated into treatments, Dr. Glimcher said.

"Academe is very good at biology and target discovery and proof of principle," she said. "We're not so great in medicinal chemistry and that's where pharma is very strong."

To that end, Weill Cornell, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and The Rockefeller University joined forces with pharmaceutical company Takeda this fall in forming the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, which is tasked with expediting early-stage drug discovery into innovative treatments and therapies. The Tri-I TDI has just selected Dr. Michael Foley as director, and Takeda's scientists will arrive in March.

As the Tri-I TDI embarks on its work, Larry Schlossman, managing director of BioPharma Alliances and Research Collaborations at Weill Cornell, continues to develop partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and the medical college.

Providing Top-Notch Clinical Care

These initiatives would be for naught were they not infused with Weill Cornell's primary mission: "to keep the patient at the center of everything we do," Dr. Glimcher said. Discoveries made by basic scientists are increasingly being applied by physicians as Weill Cornell expands its clinical presence.

In March, the medical college and the Weill Cornell Physician Organization opened a new, comprehensive medical practice on Manhattan's West Side, offering imaging, primary care and high-demand specialty services to children and adults — all under one roof. And in July, when New York Downtown Hospital merged with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital to become NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan; the 140 physicians on staff became credentialed members of the Weill Cornell faculty, as well as members of the physician organization. Both practices create a bridge between Weill Cornell's world-class physicians on the Upper East Side with areas in Manhattan that previously had limited access to the high-quality patient care that the academic medical center provides.

"I think Weill Cornell and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital are known for providing absolutely outstanding clinical care, both here and abroad," Dr. Glimcher said.

These efforts in clinical care, medical education and biomedical research continue to occur in partnership with Cornell University, CUNY Hunter College and Houston Methodist. And Weill Cornell's global initiatives in places like Weill Bugando in Tanzania, Gheskio in Haiti and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar remain strong, Dean Glimcher said.

"I think the experiment in Qatar started by Dean [Antonio M.] Gotto has really proven itself to be a success in terms of the quality of young people we are training to be physicians," she said.

The strength of Weill Cornell's mission is what sets Weill Cornell apart, Dr. Glimcher said, and is what will keep the medical college thriving.

"I want to thank all of you, faculty, staff, administration, students for your commitment to and passion for this really wonderful institution," she said. "It's been a great privilege to work with all of you over the last year, and I think the best is yet to come."

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Weill Cornell Neurointensivist Inspired by Tanzanian Counterparts


Dr. Halinder Mangat, assistant professor of neurology and assistant professor of neurology in neurological surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, traveled to Mwanza this spring as part of an exchange program between Weill Cornell Medical College and Weill Bugando University College of Health Sciences.

This exchange program strives to help train the next generation of Tanzanian physicians and expand the awareness and skills of Weill Cornell faculty, residents and students by working in a resource limited setting.

Weill Bugando's affiliated teaching hospital, Bugando Medical Centre, is a 900-bed referral hospital in Mwanza, the second largest city in Tanzania, with a patient load larger than it is designed for — yet one that accomplishes much, even with limited resources. All this is made possible by the rigorous teaching, hard work of the doctors and excellent clinical skills and acumen of the interns, residents and consultants.

In April, Dr. Mangat returned from a nearly two-week trip to Bugando Medical Centre, his second visit there in two years. He first visited Weill Bugando early last year to help in teaching clinical neurology. The medical residents at Bugando have little or no access to education in neurology due to a national shortage of neurologists in Tanzania. His experience led Dr. Mangat to return this year.

Dr. Hal Mangat at Bugando Medical Centre

Dr. Hal Mangat with residents at Bugando Medical Centre during a visit in 2012

"My trips to Weill Bugando provide me with an opportunity to get back to basics in clinical medicine with no technology," he said. "It's a challenge, but one we frequently miss back in the U.S."

During his time in Mwanza, he spent most of his time teaching neurology to general medicine, emergency medicine and surgery residents. He hosted separate lectures for junior residents, teaching them neuroanatomy, physiology, clinical examination and neurological diagnosis. With the senior medical residents, he spent time discussing patients with challenging differential diagnoses. Bedside examination and teaching is fundamental to the care of patients due to limited neuroimaging possibilities, he said. CT scanning is seldom available and one must travel to Dar es Salaam to undergo an MRI, a trip that costs nearly 1 million Tanzanian Shillings (approx. $600), he added.

During his first trip last year, Dr. Mangat also joined rounds in Bugando Medical Centre's intensive care unit with Dr. Robert Peck, assistant professor of pediatrics and assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell and assistant attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

In the ICU, Dr. Mangat saw several sick patients. These included four patients with tetanus, an infection of the nervous system by the potentially deadly bacteria Clostridium tetani. The compliance with vaccination and boosters for tetanus is lower in Tanzania compared to the United States, and due to lifestyle and work related injuries, there's a greater incidence of tetanus. Yet, even with the limited resources the ICU has, those four patients not only survived, but also did well and were discharged from the unit. Theirs was a good ending, unlike for many others, he said. Tetanus still carries an extremely high mortality that exceeds 40 percent there.

While he has practiced medicine in settings similar to Bugando Medical Centre before, what impressed Dr. Mangat the most was the resourcefulness and resiliency of his counterparts in Tanzania and the priceless efforts and dedication of the Cornell faculty members based in Mwanza.

"Dr. Mangat's lectures and training received rave reviews," said Dr. Peck. "His connection with the residents made his teaching particularly effective and his trip a wonderful success."

Dr. Mangat plans on visiting Mwanza once a year to continue his efforts.

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Dr. Hal Mangat conducts rounds with residents at Bugando Medical Centre during a visit in 2012 Photos provided
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Weill Cornell Thrives During Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher's Inaugural Year as Dean


Nearly a year into her tenure as Dean, Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher said Weill Cornell Medical College is poised at the vanguard of excellence in research, education and clinical care.

In the annual State of the Medical College address — her first as the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell — Dr. Glimcher reviewed the Medical College's accomplishments over the past year with the standing-room only crowd in Uris Auditorium Dec. 3.

Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, dean

Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. Photo credit: Carlos Rene Perez

"I think that together, with your help over the last 11 months, we've made some serious progress towards our goals," Dr. Glimcher said.

From attracting a first-year medical class with the highest mean grade point average in Weill Cornell history, to recruiting one of the world's leading cancer researchers, to leading the expansion of Weill Cornell's clinical enterprise, Dr. Glimcher illustrated just how firm the Medical College's footing is in its tripartite mission.

"Here we have an institution with first-rate clinical care, medical education and a really unique opportunity to strengthen biomedical research," she said. "So we have an opportunity here to really bend the curve in academic medicine."

Despite the uncertain health care climate in the United States, medical students want a life in medicine for the same reason Dr. Glimcher and the physicians and scientists in the auditorium chose that path, she said: "To be agents of health and agents of hope."

To prepare the next generation of physicians and scientists, Weill Cornell has sought out new creative and educational partnerships with other universities and medical colleges, began revising the curriculum to integrate preclinical and clinical courses throughout all four years of instruction and continued implementation of iPads to augment instruction.

Praising the outgoing dean of the graduate school, Dr. David Hajjar, Dr. Glimcher touted the graduate school's "spectacular growth in both size and reputation over this last decade." She particularly lauded the community of M.D.-Ph.D. students attending the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. program — besting the national average by 8 percent.

Much of the Medical College's successes are entwined with the prowess of its faculty, which is why Dr. Glimcher made faculty mentorship and development one of her highest priorities, she said.

The Office of Faculty Development was established this year and is led by Dr. Barbara Hempstead as associate dean of faculty development. Additional appointments this year include Dr. Rache Simmons and Dr. Carla Boutin-Foster as assistant deans of diversity, Dr. Michael Stewart as vice dean, Dr. John Leonard as associate dean of clinical research and Dr. Mary Simmerling as assistant dean of research integrity.

Dr. Glimcher also thanked Dr. Andrew Schafer, who is stepping down as chair of the Department of Medicine, Dr. John Savarese, who is ending his tenure as chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Dr. Hajjar for their many years of service.

As Weill Cornell leadership begins the recruitment process for these three positions, there is a robust effort to attract the world's leading scientific minds to the Medical College to strengthen its biomedical research enterprise.

The first of these powerhouse recruits came in September with Dr. Lewis Cantley, one of the world's leading cancer researchers, appointed as director of the newly-established Cancer Center at Weill Cornell and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

The newly-established Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI), led by Dr. Costantino Iadecola, the Anne Parrish Titzell Professor of Neurology, George C. Cotzias Distinguished Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience and professor of neurology and neuroscience, will focus on neurodegenerative diseases. Both the Cancer Center and the BMRI will be structured as interdisciplinary research hubs, fostering the collaboration between basic and translational scientists and clinicians to more efficiently and effectively spark research discoveries from bench to bedside and bedside to bench.

"We need to create what I think is a new paradigm in translational research, and that is to think about our community as having no boundaries," Dr. Glimcher said, "to recognize that patients are not just a collection of diseases, that having one disease alters the risk of having another disease. There is so much in common between molecular and cellular mechanisms across different diseases."

Dr. Glimcher identified six research areas Weill Cornell is emphasizing in its enterprise: neurobiology, cancer, cardiovascular biology/metabolic syndrome, precision medicine and stem cell biology. Medical breakthroughs in these areas will be the product of unprecedented collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, including the Cancer Center, BMRI and a new Joint Clinical Trials Office, providing patients with quicker access to new drugs and therapies.

Discoveries made by researchers in the lab are being applied by clinicians at the patient's bedside to an even greater extent as Weill Cornell expands its clinical footprint, Dr. Glimcher said. The Iris Cantor Men's Health Center on East 61st Street between 1st and York Avenues opened in July, and the Weill Cornell Physician Organization opened an additional office on Broadway and 84th Street last month.

"We are the jewel in the crown, academic medical centers are," Dr. Glimcher said, "and that is not only because of what we do. We take care of patients and discover new cures and treatments, but it's also because we are an engine for revenue," referring to the economic activity the Medical College produces for New York.

But it's also a challenging time to be in medicine, she said. Markets are getting more competitive, new paradigms for how to deliver care are being developed and academic medical centers need to be able to attract and retain faculty, which requires a plethora of resources. And yet government funding for biomedical research is declining.

"So, we've done a lot of great things," she said. "I think this has been a good year, but we have a lot of challenges ahead of us too. This is, no question, a difficult environment in which to thrive as an academic medical center."

But it also provides an opportunity, she said. The Medical College is focusing efforts on health care reform so as to not just be ahead of the curve, but also lead the way. Among those efforts is the establishment of the Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy, led by Dr. Rainu Kaushal, the Frances and John L. Loeb Professor of Medical Informatics, professor of medicine, pediatrics and public health, who will work to improve health and health care through the use of informatics and technology.

These efforts in medical education, biomedical research and clinical care are also in partnership with Weill Cornell's collaborations with Cornell University and The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. And Weill Cornell continues its global initiatives at Weill Bugando in Tanzania, Gheskio in Haiti, Brazil, Vellore and in Qatar — Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar celebrated 10 years of training doctors this year.

In all, Dr. Glimcher said, her vision for Weill Cornell becoming among the best academic medical centers in the world is within sight.

"Robert Browning said you should measure the height of a person's mind by the length of the shadow it cast," she said. "The measure of a community is how well it enriches the lives of all its members. I have discovered over the last year that the Weill Cornell Medical College community is truly remarkable in this, and it is a privilege, honor and a delight to be a part of it."

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Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, dean of Weill Cornell Medical College Photo credit: Carlos Rene Perez
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Weill Bugando Pediatric Residents Learn and Train at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Bilateral Exchange


Pediatric residents from NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center have for years had the opportunity to travel the 7,200 miles to Mwanza, Tanzania to learn how medicine is practiced in Africa in a four-week exchange program.

Now it's the Tanzanian residents' turn.

This spring, two pediatric residents who studied at Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences and are currently training at Weill Bugando Medical College jetted across the Atlantic to learn what practicing medicine is like in the United States through the Medical College's bilateral exchange program.

"We came to learn," said Dr. Rehema Simbauranga, "and we did."

Dr. Simbauranga and her fellow resident Dr. Maimuna Ahmed spent four weeks from May 7 to June 1 working at the Komansky Center for Children's Health at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

A week at the neonatal intensive care unit. A week on the inpatient floors. And two weeks in outpatient care, the pediatric emergency department and urgent care clinic. They attended grand rounds and conferences, and were mentored by numerous faculty and residents.

"For me, the teaching, the materials I got were wonderful," Dr. Simbauranga said.

There is a difference in medical practice between New York and Mwanza. For example, doctors in New York rely on better diagnostic tools than doctors in Mwanza.

But the one constant, no matter where doctors practice, is the commitment to medicine.

"If you decide to be a doctor, you need to feel it in your heart and be committed," said Dr. Ahmed.

Weill Cornell Medical College initiated the exchange program in Tanzania several years ago to strengthen medical education at Weill Bugando Medical College and at Bugando Medical Centre and improve and expand Tanzania's core of health care providers.

Led by Dr. Robert Peck, assistant professor of Medicine and assistant professor of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell who practices in Mwanza, residents from New York learn about health care delivery in developing countries, how to diagnose in a resource-poor setting, pediatric morbidity and mortality in developing countries and tropical diseases.

"When our residents are in Tanzania, they recognize how difficult it is to manage the care of neonatal and pediatric patients because of a lack of resources," said Dr. Jennifer DiPace, residency program director for the Weill Cornell Department of Pediatrics. "If we could give exposure to the potential care that is out there, boost commitment and motivation, we could plant the seeds for change."

With that in mind, the Department of Pediatrics proposed a bilateral exchange that could spark that change and provided the funding to bring Dr. Ahmed and Dr. Simbauranga here.

"We believed this could be something huge if we could do a bilateral exchange going forward," said Dr. Jaspreet Loyal, former chief resident for pediatrics.

"Everyone was interested to go for this exchange program, fortunately we got this opportunity to visit Weill Cornell" Dr. Ahmed said.

They were pleased when they learned they were going to New York to learn. For Weill Cornell doctors, the feeling was mutual. The Tanzanian residents hosted conferences and lectures to share their knowledge with doctors here.

"We knew that we had as much to learn from them as they did from us," Dr. DiPace said.

Armed with what they've learned, Dr. Ahmed and Dr. Simbauranga returned home earlier this month to share this experience to their colleagues.

"We can share what we learned so they can see a different way to practice medicine," said Dr. Simbauranga.

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