While you may have known that Dr. John Leonard is the Director of the Lymphoma Program at Weill Cornell Medicine, leading one of the nation’s top lymphoma programs, did you know he’s also the Associate Dean for Clinical Research, the Associate Director of Clinical Trials at the Meyer Cancer Center, and the director of the Joint Clinical Trials Office at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian?
Recently he sat down with the Larry Schafer, the Vice Provost of External Affairs, to discuss the impact of philanthropy on scientific discovery at Weill Cornell Medicine:
LS: During your time here, how have you seen the institution directly benefit from philanthropic support?
JL: Well, philanthropy has obviously contributed to the success of our institution, but even more important, it has contributed to our success in solving problems. I think it really comes down to rounding out where our funding is coming from. Funding that comes from the federal government is limited and challenging because it doesn’t always adequately support our projects – you’re getting by on a shoestring. The pharmaceutical industry does great things, and is a huge supporter of biomedical research and a critical partner, but there are some scientific questions that are not a priority for that industry. So philanthropy and direct support to an institution like ours is central – not only for funding specific studies, but for building infrastructure and core needs – like a database or a biobank. Philanthropy is helping to put the pieces in place and underpinning so many of our efforts.
The full interview can be read at Milestones, the Weill Cornell Medicine institutional newsletter.