Through $1.5B campaign, Weill Cornell Medicine to invest in precision medicine, debt-free medical education

A massive $1.5 billion fundraising campaign will be used to turbocharge Weill Cornell Medicine’s research, patient care and medical education efforts.

Launched June 17, the “We’re Changing Medicine” campaign is the largest in the New York City-based health system’s history. The campaign will focus on supporting three tenets: to care, to discover and to teach.

Of the $1.5 billion, about $750 million has already been raised, said Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine, in an email.

“The goal of this campaign is to build on our foundational science landscape; invest in bench-to-bedside research discoveries…and support a diverse and gifted student body with a new residence hall and the ability to graduate debt-free,” Choi said.

Funds raised through the campaign will be used to invest in various types of translational research efforts, including a precision health enterprise that will focus on personalized disease prevention and treatment. To support this new enterprise, the health system will create new facilities and update existing biomedical research space at its Belfer Research Building and main campus buildings.

In addition, Weill Cornell will invest in new technologies, like artificial intelligence and machine learning, and new biomedical approaches, such as regenerative medicine and cellular therapeutics.

Not only that, but the health system will also use the funds to enhance its students’ learning and living environments, Weill Cornell’s Choi said.

A $55 million gift from Jeffrey Feil, the board of fellows vice chair and campaign co-chair, and the Feil family will support the construction of a new $264 million student residence hall, Choi said. The proposed 148,000-square-foot hall, with expected occupancy in 2025, will nearly double the institution’s residential living space.

Further, Weill Cornell Medicine plans to raise $40 million to fully fund its scholarship endowment, which provides all medical students who qualify for financial aid with scholarships that cover tuition, housing and other living expenses. This enables the students to avoid taking out loans.

The scholarship was created in 2019 with gifts from donors that together totaled $160 million.

“Offering debt-free medical education has fostered a more diverse student body,” Choi said. “In fact, [the] class of 2024 applications for medical students who are underrepresented in medicine rose to 29%, compared with 20% the previous year.”

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