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Hunter College and Weill Cornell Medical College Join Forces to Advance Bench-to-Bedside Medical Discoveries
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Oct 24, 2013 - 4:55:19 PM

(HealthNewsDigest.com) - New York, NY (October 24, 2013) - Standing in the soon-to-be finished space that will soon house some of the most innovative bench-to-bedside medical discoveries in New York, Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab and Weill Cornell Medical College Dean Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher today celebrated an innovative partnership between the two institutions for collaborative research.

The agreement, in which Hunter will purchase the 4th floor of the new Belfer Research Building, extends Hunter's and Weill Cornell's fruitful history of public-private partnership. Now, their additional collaboration on cutting-edge research and training of the next generation of scientists in the new, $650 million building expands the Upper East Side Medical Research Corridor as a growing powerhouse in the biomedical research sector. Hunter's laboratory research space will be fitted out in the coming months and open in 2014.  Hunter College is already a collaborative partner in Weill Cornell's Clinical Translational Science Center, which the National Institutes of Health calls a model for public-private research partnerships. The center received an additional $49.6 million NIH grant last year, a renewal of the largest-ever Federal grant to the medical college by the NIH. Four Hunter schools are part of the center's consortium and are able to use the medical college's research cores.

With Hunter's purchase of 21,000 square feet of life sciences lab space in the Belfer Research Building, its faculty will have easier access to Weill Cornell research cores and services.  "This partnership between a top public and a top private institution is something that rarely - if ever - happens," said Jennifer J. Raab.

"This is a physical expression of a long-standing relationship between two institutions that will advance scientific study and train the next generation of scientists. We are incredibly fortunate to have this first-class space to work side by side with Weill Cornell."

"Weill Cornell Medical College is thrilled to have Hunter College share this facility and to have our scientists continue to collaborate on biomedical research," says Dr. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College.

"Research in the building's open design space will encourage cross-disciplinary collaborations between some of New York City's top scientists in the pursuit of the shared goal of improving human health." Also present for the occasion were Sanford I. Weill, former chairman & CEO of Citibank and chairman of Weill Cornell's Board of Overseers; and Robert and Renée Belfer, for whom the building is named. The Belfers donated $100 million to construct the state-of-the-art facility. The Belfer Research Building will open in January 2014 with the Hunter floor opening later in the year.

The 480,000-square-foot, 16-story building will be devoted to translational bench-to-bedside research targeting some of the world's 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 building is currently under construction at 413 East 69th St.

About Hunter CollegeHunter College, located in the heart of Manhattan, is the largest college in the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Founded in 1870, it is also one of the oldest public colleges in the country. Currently, 23,000 students attend Hunter, pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 170 different programs of study.  Hunter College is famous for the diversity of its student body, which is as diverse as New York City itself. For nearly 140 years, it has provided educational opportunities for women and minorities, and today, students from every walk of life and every corner of the world convene at Hunter in pursuit of the American Dream.  Hunter students are uniquely committed to their educations and their futures. Though the great majority hold jobs, most are the first in their families to attend college with 35% being first generation college students and another 16% who are first in their family to attend college. Their level of academic and professional achievement is extraordinary. They are published authors, community activists, exhibited artists, and civic leaders. Many go on to top professional and graduate programs, winning Fulbright scholarships, Mellon fellowships, National Institutes of Health grants, and other rare and competitive honors. Hunter graduates make a mark wherever they go, but the vast majority choose to give back locally -- if you come across an important artist, author, educator, government official, health professional, researcher, scientist, or social-service professional in New York City, there's a good chance he or she went to Hunter.  The 1,700 full- and part-time members of Hunter's faculty are unparalleled. Thanks to the diverse and uniquely engaged student body, the abundance of New York's academic resources, and the ever-growing opportunities for teaching and research, Hunter attracts many of the nation's top scholars. They receive prestigious national grants, contribute to the world's leading academic journals, and play major roles in cutting-edge research. They are fighting cancer, formulating public policy, expanding our culture, enhancing technology, and more.

Weill Cornell Medical CollegeWeill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances -- including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston.

For more information, visitweill.cornell.edu.

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