News Archive 2010

Dr. Melnick Reveals Genetic Pathway in AML

Fast on the heels of his therapeutic breakthrough for lymphoma, Ari M. Melnick, MD, unlocked a leukemia-causing genetic mutation. The findings, published in Cancer Cell, have therapeutic implications not only for certain leukemia patients but also for many with brain tumors.

Dr. Rhee Receives Two Grants from Gates Foundation

A graduate of Cornell University, Dr. Rhee is one of only nine grantees to receive further funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through the Grand Challenges Exploration Program. Dr. Carl Nathan was another of these nine grantees to receive follow-on funding. In addition, each received a second grant through the TB Drug Accelerator Program (two of only seven), an independent program that is part of the larger Gates "Grand Challenges" initiative.

New Combination Therapy Proves Highly Effective against non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Cells

Research from the laboratory of Ari M. Melnick, MD, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, has resulted in a promising new combinatorial therapy for diffuse large B cell lymphoma, an aggressive and rapidly progressive cancer that affects approximately 21,000 new people each year. This research, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, may hold significant implications for patient survival rates.

ADVANCE Trial Advances to Superior Viral Response Rates Using Telaprevir

Dr. Ira M. Jacobson, Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and the lead investigator of the ADVANCE trial, reported breakthrough findings at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease in Boston on November 2, 2010. Adding a protease inhibitor´┐Żtelaprevir-- to the standard first-time treatment given to patients with hepatitis C resulted in a superior success rate. In fact, 75% of patients who received 12 weeks of therapy with telaprevir, in combination with the current standard drug treatment of peginterferon and ribavirin achieved a viral cure in this Phase 3 study. This significant advance is one in a series on a steady course towards a cure in which Dr. Jacobson and Weill Cornell have played an active role for over 20 years.

Department Physicians Elected to IOM

David J. Skorton, MD, President of Cornell University and a member of the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Joseph J. Fins, MD, Chief of Weill Cornell's Division of Medical Ethics and an Attending Physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine. Announced yesterday at the IOM's 40th annual meeting in Washington, DC, the election is one of the highest honors in the field of health and medicine. Drs. Skorton and Fins are among 65 new members and four foreign associates elected this year. Membership in the IOM recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to service and made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, healthcare and public health.

Dr. London Joins the Iris Cantor Women's Health Center

The Department of Medicine of Weill Cornell Medical College welcomes family medicine physician Cathleen G. London, MD to its faculty as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and an Assistant Attending Physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. London, who comes to Weill Cornell from Boston, where she ran a successful family medicine practice for over 10 years, is working full-time providing clinical care to patients at the Iris Cantor Women's Health Center.

Dr. Pape Receives Clinton Global Citizen Award

Jean W. Pape, MD, Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Founding Director of the AIDS research and treatment organization GHESKIO, has received a Clinton Global Citizen Award. Established by President William J. Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative in 2007, the award recognizes individuals who have championed innovative solutions to pressing global problems. The award ceremony, held September 23 in New York City, will be broadcast by CNBC Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT.

Geriatric Medicine: Dr. Lachs Publishes New Book — Treat Me, Not My Age Report on ABC's Good Morning America

In his new book, Treat Me Not My Age, Mark S. Lachs, MD, MPH, offers practical advice for "boomers and beyond" (and the family members who worry about them) on navigating the modern healthcare system. With insight gained from more than two decades working one-on-one with patients, guiding family caregivers through difficult care decisions and navigating the trenches of medical administration, Dr. Lachs provides in-depth advice on the healthcare process, from choosing a physician and managing prescriptions to handling transitions between care facilities and outfitting the home for specific medical needs. Published this month by Viking Penguin, Treat Me, Not My Age is a comprehensive guide to avoiding the medical pitfalls that can be most harmful and receiving the highest-quality care. Click here to see the Good Morning America interview.

X-Ray Proves Pea Collapsed Patient's Lung: Dr. Crystal Explains on NBC's Today Show

Doctors discovered a pea lodged in a patient's left lung that had sprouted and grown fully half an inch before persistent coughing sent the 75-year-old man to Cape Cod Hospital.
Click here for NBC video.

President Bush Visits GHESKIO for Clinton Bush Haiti Fund: Jenna Bush Hager Reports on NBC's Today Show

Following President William J. Clinton's recent visit to GHESKIO in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, President George W. Bush toured the city on August 10. Partners in the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, established to raise financial support for international aid efforts in post-earthquake Haiti, their visits bring fresh attention to the relief efforts, including extensive emergency aid coordinated by GHESKIO. Jenna Bush Hager, a new Contributing Correspondent with NBC, covered the Haiti trip on the Today Show. Click here for NBC video.

GHESKIO Research Published in New England Journal of Medicine: Earlier is Better for HIV Treatment

Clinical studies at GHESKIO in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, have confirmed that early initiation of antiretroviral therapy significantly increases survival rates among HIV-1 patients. The researchers, which include several of Weill Cornell Medical College's top infectious and tropical disease experts, published the results of the four-year study in the July 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study also linked early intervention with a decreased rate of incident tuberculosis, a leading cause of death among HIV patients in resource-poor countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The GHESKIO results laid the ground for recent changes in HIV treatment protocols as described in the recent 2010 revision of treatment guidelines publish by WHO.

Dr. Krieger Discusses Sleep Apnea on CBS HealthWatch

Ana C. Krieger, MD, MPH, Co-Director of the Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, appeared on CBS HealthWatch. Dr. Krieger explained the deeper health concerns associated with sleep apnea, a condition that affects 25 percent of men and 9 percent of women. Researchers of a newly released study estimate that sleep apnea — during which airways close up, depriving the sleeper of adequate oxygen — renders middle-aged and older men 68 percent more likely to develop heart problems than men without apnea. "The whole body suffers damage because of the lack of oxygen," said Dr. Krieger. Premenopausal women and sleep apnea is also discussed.
Click here for CBS video.

Dr. Steinberg Appointed First Howard and Carol Holtzmann Professor in Clinical Medicine

The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce that Charles R. Steinberg, MD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases, has been appointed as the first Howard and Carol Holtzmann Professor in Clinical Medicine, effective June 1, 2010. This endowed professorship is in recognition of outstanding service and contributions to the clinical and educational missions of the college, an honor conferred to Dr. Steinberg by the Executive Committee of the Board of Overseers of Weill Cornell Medical College and the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

The Department of Medicine Welcomes Drs. David Calfee, Stephen J. Wilson, and Thomas Walsh to the Division of Infectious Diseases

Dr. Andrew I. Schafer, MD elected President of the Association of Professors of Medicine (APM)

Dr. Schafer, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and Physician-in-Chief, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Elected President of the Association of Professors of Medicine (APM). He will take office on July 1, 2010.

GHESKIO Wins 2010 Gates Award for Global Health

GHESKIO, an institution in Haiti founded nearly three decades ago to fight HIV/AIDS, has been awarded the prestigious 2010 Gates Award for Global Health for its years of groundbreaking clinical service, research, and training to effectively treat and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other related illnesses.

New Visiting Professorship: The Mark Pecker Clinical Master

Dr. Mark Pecker's former chief residents came together to create a visiting professorship to honor his unique contributions to his trainees and colleagues. The Mark Pecker Clinical Master spends a week with the department and is involved in many clinical activities including morning report, conferences, and rounds. There are also opportunities to interact with staff and residents.

Dr. Crow Appointed Chief of Rheumatology

We are very pleased to announce that Mary K. Crow, MD, has been appointed Chief of the Division of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine. Concurrently, she has been appointed Physician-in-Chief and Chair of the Division of Rheumatology at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS).

Drug Designed by Weill Cornell to Kill Lymphoma Cells Goes to
Clinical Trials

Researchers from the Sackler Center at Weill Cornell Medical College have designed a new class of drugs that targets a master regulatory protein responsible for causing the most common type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Introducing the Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine

The newly constructed, expanded, and relocated Center for Sleep Medicine opened its doors on March 25, 2010.

Dr. Kastor Appointed Director of Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC)

Anne Kastor, MD, has accepted the newly created position of Director, Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC), effective March 1, 2010.

Dr. Lia Logio Appointed Vice Chair for Education and Residency Program Director

Lia Logio, MD, has been appointed Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Known for her energetic and innovative approach to residency training, she currently serves as Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Indiana University School of Medicine, where she is also the Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development. The Department of Medicine welcomes Dr. Logio, who will arrive in the spring of 2010.

President Clinton Visits GHESKIO

On Friday, February 5, former US President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti, visited GHESKIO to help begin the process of recovery and reconstruction, and to deliver relief supplies including water, food, solar flash lights, portable radios, generators, and approximately 1,900 lbs. of medical supplies.

$6 Million NHLBI Grant Creates Collaborative Center for Reducing Obesity among African-American and Latino New Yorkers

The grant, from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, will help the new center implement projects like its research study, SCALE (Small Changes and Lasting Effects), to help reduce obesity and obesity-related deaths in the city's African-American and Latino communities.

In Memoriam: David Becker, MD

The Division of Endocrinology announces with great sadness the passing of our dear colleague, Dr. David Becker. Dr. Becker was a revered member of the Division of Endocrinology and a nationally and internationally recognized thyroidologist, with particular expertise in thyrotoxicosis and thyroid cancer.

Ensuring the Future of the Physician-Scientist

The new book, by Weill Cornell Medical College's Chairman of Medicine, outlines challenges and solutions to the issue of the diminishing role of physicians in biomedical research.

GHESKIO Buildings Suffer Earthquake Damage in Port au Prince, Haiti, but No Serious Injuries Reported

We thank everyone for their concern about our Haiti WCMC-GHESKIO team after the earthquake on Tuesday. Information and news updates will continue to be posted on the website for the Weill Cornell Center for Global Health at:

Department of Medicine Hematologists Present Findings at 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology

Leading hematologists in the Department of Medicine presented new basic and clinical research findings at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in New Orleans, December 5–8.

Dr. Cilmi Appointed Associate Program Director for Department of Medicine Residency Program

The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce that Sal Cilmi, MD, has been appointed an Associate Program Director for the Department of Medicine's residency program. Dr. Cilmi will continue to serve as a full-time member of the department's Division of Hospital Medicine.

The SASS Foundation Visiting Professorship: December 3

On Thursday, December 3, the SASS Foundation for Medical Research and Weill Cornell Medical College, along with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, presented a scientific symposium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Weill Cornell campus.

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