September 8, 2011

Glimcher Chosen as New Dean of Cornell Medical College

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After a six month search, President David Skorton announced Wednesday that Harvard Prof. Laurie Glimcher, immunology, was named Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College and its provost of medical affairs. On Jan. 1, 2012, Glimcher will succeed Dr. Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., who has served as dean of the medical college for 15 years.

As the longest-standing member of the corporate board of biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb, Glimcher has “extensive experience” in corporate finance, governance and management, according to a University press release. Glimcher has received $1.4 million in deferred share units from the company, “by far the most of any director,” The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Under Glimcher’s leadership, Weill hopes to strengthen its relationship with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, develop innovative cures and bolster research, the University stated.

“I am convinced that Weill Cornell Medical College is perfectly positioned … to be a leader in academic medicine,” Glimcher said, adding that she is eager to use “the enormous strengths in life sciences, the physical sciences and engineering at Cornell University’s Ithaca campus to raise the bar even higher across the University.”

In a press release, Skorton said he was “honored and delighted” that Glimcher accepted the position.

“Her passion for accomplishment and her many research and clinical strengths make her ideally suited to build on Tony Gotto’s strong foundation and lead Weill Cornell’s bright future in clinical care, education and translational research,” Skorton said.

Glimcher’s appointment — which was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees — comes as Weill completes a $1.3 billion fundraising campaign and continues construction on its $650 million Medical Research Building, an 18-story facility that will more than double the college’s research space.

Glimcher has studied cancer, metabolic disease and neurodegenerative disease, among other illnesses, making her “a leader in translational medicine” — collaborative laboratory work between doctors and researchers targeting specific diseases — according to the press release. Translational medicine is the central concept behind the new Medical Research Building, Richard Thomas, senior director of capital planning, said in April.

“I believe that appropriate partnering with the private sector is essential for the future of translational research,” Glimcher said, calling the appointment “an outstanding opportunity.”

Sanford I. Weill ’55, chairman of the medical college’s Board of Overseers and a member of Cornell’s Board of Trustees, said Glimcher would strengthen the sciences at Weill and beyond.

“With a state-of-the-art biomedical research facility under construction and Dr. Glimcher at the helm, Weill Cornell and New York are on course to achieve a preeminence in the biomedical sciences,” Weill said.

Glimcher called collaborating with the private sector “essential for the future of translational research” and said she hoped scientists in Cornell’s Ithaca campus and New York City would continue working together.

University administrators and board members expressed confidence in Glimcher’s leadership.

Glimcher’s predecessor, Gotto — who will serve as co-chairman of Weill’s Board of Overseers and vice president of Cornell University effective Jan. 1, 2012 — thanked the University for its “extraordinary support” and said that “[Glimcher] will bring standards of excellence that will be critical to Weill Cornell in the challenges ahead for academic medical centers.”

Peter C. Meinig ’61, chair of the Board, said Glimcher’s “scientific credibility and connections” would attract top talent in the biomedical field to the medical college, further strengthening the faculty there — something Glimcher described as one of Weill’s major strategic goals.

“There will be a wealth of opportunities,” Glimcher said.

Original Author: Akane Otani