Weill Cornell Medical College Creates Office of Faculty Development

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Dr. Barbara L. Hempstead Appointed Associate Dean for Faculty Development to Help Foster Professional Development

Newswise — NEW YORK (Jan. 26, 2012) -- Weill Cornell Medical College has announced the establishment of the Office of Faculty Development dedicated to assisting its physicians, researchers and educators in achieving academic success at each stage of their careers, with targeted activities that focus on the needs of junior, mid-career and senior faculty.

Dr. Barbara L. Hempstead, the O. Wayne Isom Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, has been appointed the associate dean for faculty development. In this role, Dr. Hempstead will assist in organizing departmental mentorship and leadership programs that form the cornerstone of successful academic careers.

"I've found that many people can go further than they ever thought they could simply because someone else thought they could. This office will ensure that all our faculty receive the mentoring, guidance and support that will help them succeed," says Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. "I am very pleased to have Dr. Hempstead lead this vital initiative."

A physician-scientist for more than two decades, Dr. Hempstead has dedicated her career to mentorship, working with more than 30 undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty working in her laboratory to ensure their success. The Office of Faculty Development will enable career development to permeate across the entire Weill Cornell Medical College community. Successful career development requires a clear understanding of the criteria for promotion, mentorship at all levels, provision of protected time for research and academic activities, and formal training in writing of grants, manuscripts and clinical trials.

"As medical discovery and its translation to improved clinical care involve multidisciplinary teams of investigators and clinicians," Dr. Hempstead says, "this office will help faculty to promote collaborative team building among clinical researchers and translational and basic scientists."

Dr. Hempstead received her bachelor's degree from Tufts University and her medical degree as well as a Ph.D. in cellular biology from Washington University School of Medicine's Medical Scientist Training Program. She completed her training at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in internal medicine and hematology and medical oncology. She is currently the O. Wayne Isom Professor of Medicine and has been co-chief of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology since 2004.

She is a member of the American Physicians, a past recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research, and past chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Neurotrophic Factors.

In her laboratory, Dr. Hempstead spent the last 20 years researching and defining the biological actions of growth factors. While these factors have been extensively studied in the brain, where they promote neuronal function and memory formation, her laboratory identified important actions in the injured vasculature, where they induce new blood vessel growth. In addition, her laboratory has identified unexpected activities of precursor forms of neurotrophins in promoting cell death and impairing brain function. These studies have clinical implications in acute neuronal injury, neurodegenerative disease, in complex behaviors of anxiety and depression, and in modulating the response to vascular injury.

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill 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, visit weill.cornell.edu.


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