Weill Cornell Medicine launches $1.5B campaign to fund bench-to-bedside research in precision health, genomics

Weill Cornell Medical has launched a $1.5 billion campaign to invest in bench-to-bedside research, including precision health, genomics and artificial intelligence.

The New York-based institution has already raised more than $750 million from existing benefactors.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how important medicine is to protect and enhance the health of our patients,” said Augustine M.K. Choi, M.D., the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine and provost for medical affairs of Cornell University in a statement.

“Our accomplished physicians and scientists are committed to treating the whole patient for their whole lifespan, applying cutting-edge science and a personalized and evidence-based approach to prevent and treat disease. Because of our generous donors, Weill Cornell Medicine is uniquely positioned to meet today’s health care challenges and change medicine—because we can and must," Choi said.

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The campaign, called "We’re Changing Medicine," is boosted by $215 million in foundational gifts from several of the institution’s most longstanding benefactors. Foundational Gifts include $160 million from The Starr Foundation, The Weill Family Foundation and other donors to establish a scholarship for medical students that will provide recipients with debt-free education. Another $55 million gift will fund the construction of a new residence hall.

As part of the campaign, Weill Cornell Medicine will invest in building brand-new facilities and updated biomedical research space at its Belfer Research Building in New York City and the development of cutting-edge technology and biomedical approaches in genomics, data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning. One aim of the research is to uncover disease origins and develop precision medicine treatments.

Leveraging advanced research techniques that explore the human genome, as well as observations about how demographics, social and lifestyle choices influence well-being, Weill Cornell Medicine plans to create a robust precision health enterprise to evaluate the individual factors that underlie disease development.

Physicians will use this research to discern each person’s individual health risk and create personalized prevention strategies for patients, according to the organization executives.

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Weill Cornell Medicine also plans to invest in regenerative medicine and cellular therapeutics to accelerate the discovery of new treatments and therapies. The campaign also will focus on women’s health and infectious diseases, as well as diseases and disorders that affect the heart, brain and metabolic system.

“Enhancing the health care patients receive is one of the most tangible ways we can effect change in society,” said Cornell University Board of Trustees Chairman Robert S. Harrison in a statement. “This auspicious milestone will embolden Weill Cornell Medicine’s distinguished doctors, researchers and trainees to continue their vital mission to change medicine.”

Weill Cornell Medicine comprises Weill Cornell Medical College, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Weill Cornell Physician Organization. The organization provides care at 64 locations including NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens and NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.