Weill Cornell Medical College dedicated the Belfer Research Building, a state-of-the-art facility that will more than double the Medical College’s existing research space and position Weill Cornell at the vanguard of new medical research and discoveries.

When it opens in 2014, the 480,000-square-foot building will be devoted to translational bench-to-bedside research targeting some of our most daunting health challenges, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, children’s health, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and global health and infectious diseases.

The $ 650 million building is the centerpiece of Weill Cornell’s $ 1.3 billion Discoveries that Make a Difference campaign, the country’s largest for a medical college. More than $ 1.1 billion has been raised toward this goal in just over five years, including an impressive 116 gifts of $ 1 million or more, of which 37 specifically support the new Belfer Research Building.

$135 million was provided through a challenge gift from Sanford I. Weill, chairman of the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers, and his wife, Joan, as part of their historic $ 250 million pledge in 2007 — believed to be the single largest gift ever given to a medical school.

I am extremely grateful to Weill Cornell for their continued investment into our community and the health of all New Yorkers.” – Congresswoman Maloney.

“The Belfer Research Building is an inspiring symbol of the Medical College’s ongoing commitment to fostering translational research.” – Dr. Antonio M. Gotto Jr. Dean Weill Cornell Medical College.

It is a centerpiece of our tripartite mission to promote biomedical research, medical education and patient care both locally and around the world. I believe it will lead to major innovations in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease.”

As a young man I was treated by physicians at Weill Cornell,” says Belfer.

Over the years, this outstanding institution has helped many members of my extended family. I can think of no better way to give back than to hope that the discoveries made at this new research building will help generations of New Yorkers and all mankind to lead healthier lives.”

I am personally very excited not only by the expanded research potential at Weill Cornell but also by the expanded opportunities that the Belfer Research Building presents for collaboration between our two campuses.” – Dr. David Skorton President Cornell University

The Research Leads to Cures initiative, a new phase in the Discoveries campaign, aims to raise $ 225 million in support of endowments and faculty recruitment for 30 new scientists and their programs within the new Belfer Research Building. As construction continues, Weill Cornell is already actively recruiting the nation’s top scientists. Three of 30 recruits have already joined the faculty.

This campaign is focused on the people and programs that spearhead the research leading to tomorrow’s cures, much of which will take place in the Belfer Research Building.” – Robert J. Appel Chairman Weill Cornell Medical College’s Discoveries that Make a Difference campaign

Research to Advance Patient Care

Cancer Research. The building will be the locus for the new Weill Cornell Cancer Center, which was created to translate discoveries into effective preventive and treatment strategies, create synergies in cancer research, advance global efforts in cancer prevention, and educate and train medical professionals and researchers. The researchers’ goal is to collaborate to find ways to stop cancer before it ever has the chance to gain a foothold.

Heart Health. Researchers will investigate new treatments for heart disease, specifically in the areas of atherosclerosis, angiogenesis and cardiac genetics. Scientists across disciplines will work with physicians to tackle major questions such as genetic predispositions to cardiac arrest, the influence of cholesterol in heart disease, and the causes of imbalance in blood vessel formation.

The Brain. Weill Cornell researchers will continue to lead the way in groundbreaking research in brain health. Every day, researchers in the lab and physicians working with patients make strides that deepen the understanding of the basic biology of the brain.

Children’s Health. Weill Cornell physician-scientists will collaborate across specialties to seek answers to the most prevalent health issues affecting children today, including leukemia, epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, autism and childhood infections.

Stem Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, and Regenerative and Reproductive Medicine. Among the recent notable advances in biomedicine, none stir the imagination and raise hope more than those in regenerative medicine — the science of marshaling the body’s own cellular resources for restoring tissue and function. In only a few short years, research breakthroughs in the Ansary Stem Cell Institute at Weill Cornell have positioned us as global leaders in a key discipline in regenerative medicine — stem cell biology. Continuing research in this area will lay the groundwork for developing new treatments for cardiovascular disease and other conditions.

Global Health and Infectious Diseases. The Belfer Research Building will be the international hub of Weill Cornell’s extensive global network of scientists and physicians working to develop innovative ways to combat infectious diseases and develop treatments for the growing burden of chronic diseases.

Diabetes, Metabolic Disorders and Obesity. Weill Cornell investigators will study new ways to address diabetes and insulin-related metabolic disorders, which now affect more than 20 percent of the national population. They are studying the effects of bariatric surgeries on obesity and cancer; the use of islet cells in kidney transplantation, providing a promising new cell therapy for the cure of Type 1 diabetes; and ongoing clinical trials on glucose control.

 

About the author

+ stories