January 17, 2017

Weill Cornell Medicine Taps Interim Dean for Permanent Position

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Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi was appointed dean of Weill Cornell Medicine and University provost for medical affairs on Monday. Choi has been serving at these posts in interim capacity since last June.

Choi retained his positions after a 19-member search committee — chaired by Interim President Hunter Rawlings and Jessica Bibliowicz, who is both chairman of the Weill Cornell Medicine Board of Overseers and Sanford Weill’s daughter — enthusiastically nominated him for it. Choi was then unanimously elected to his post by Weill Cornell Medicine’s board of overseers and the board of trustees’ executive committee.

“Throughout the extensive national search to find the most highly qualified candidates to lead Weill Cornell Medicine, Augustine kept rising to the top,” Rawlings said in the Cornell Chronicle. “I found him to be a consummate leader as interim dean, and I am excited that he will be guiding Weill Cornell Medicine during the next chapter of its illustrious history.”

Sanford I. Weill ’55, the namesake of Weill Cornell Medicine, said Choi distinguished himself as a potential leader while serving at the medical school for years.

“[Choi] has amply demonstrated his prowess in growing clinical and sponsored research revenues, recruiting world-class scientific leaders and nurturing extremely talented individuals,” Weill said. “Dr. Choi is uniquely and perfectly placed to lead Weill Cornell Medicine further into the 21st century.”

Choi’s medical background is both academic and clinical. Before moving to Weill Cornell Medicine in 2013, Choi was a professor at Harvard Medical School and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Boston hospital ranked eighth best in the country by U.S. News and World Report in 2013. Now, serving as the medical school’s dean and physician-in-chief of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Choi keeps a foot in both camps.

But Cornell is not the first institution to recognize Choi for his individual achievements. Choi has earned an impressive share of individual accolades, including the Johns Hopkins Physician Scientist Award, the 2010 American Thoracic Society Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishment, and the 2015 J. Burns Amberson Lecture, which recognizes a career of major lifetime contributions to pulmonary research, according to the University.

Choi also won the 2011 Ho-Am Prize for Medicine, a distinction often referred to as the Korean Nobel Prize, the University reported.

“[B]eing selected as dean is both an incredibly humbling and a joyful experience,” Choi said. “I am certain that, working together, we are a triple threat and can make lasting and impactful contributions in health care, scientific discovery and education.”