October 30, 2013

New Weill Cornell Graduate School Dean Settles In

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By JESSE WEISSMAN

After his first month as the new dean of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Gary Koretzky ’78, a prominent immunologist, described the position as his “dream job.”

“My overall goal as dean of the graduate school is to take an outstanding program to the next level of eminence,” Koretzky said. He said that, among other goals, he hopes to make administrative and structural changes to the program to enhance students’ experience.

In the long term, Koretzky said he plans to revise WCMC’s curriculum “to ensure we are teaching the most important concepts and approaches to our students and optimally preparing them for the myriad of opportunities in biomedical research.”

Koretzky, who began serving as dean of the Weill graduate school and senior associate dean for research at WCMC on Oct. 1, will be overseeing a large expansion of biomedical research at Weill.

The Belfer Research Building, which will expand Weill’s research space by more than 455,000 square feet, is projected to open in 2014. Weill will also further its research efforts by collaborating with Hunter College, which announced Oct. 24 that it will purchase the fourth floor of the building to expand its public-private partnership.

Koretzky said he is excited to play a part in these expansions.

“The enthusiasm and excitement for the future of both the medical college and graduate school is palpable,” Koretzky said.

Koretzky said he hopes that the direction WCMC is taking will encourage Cornell students heading to medical school go straight from one Cornell campus to another.

“I very much hope that as Cornell undergraduates consider the next phase of their careers, those interested in the biomedical sciences will consider WCMC for that next step,” Koretzky said.

Koretzky was the vice chair for research and chief scientific officer in the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania before being named dean of the Weill Graduate School, according to a University press release.

Spending his undergraduate years at Cornell inspired him to pursue a career in medicine, Koretzky said.

“For me, Cornell was the perfect mix of academic rigor in a beautiful setting. … I met incredibly interesting and idealistic individuals who challenged me to think much more broadly on many topics,” Koretzky said.

WCMC Dean Laurie Glimcher said she looks forward to seeing Koretzky move Weill forward over the coming years.

“Dr. Koretzky is a distinguished researcher and leader, and I am thrilled that he will join us as dean of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and as senior associate dean for research at Weill Cornell,” Glimcher said in a University press release. “He will enable us to translate scientific discoveries into the most advanced care for our patients.”

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