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A Time to Celebrate

December 19, 2011

2011 has been a year of solid achievement for the School of Medicine. Now is a good time to take stock of our accomplishments and gear up for an even better 2012.

To the School of Medicine Community,

As we approach the holiday recess, I wish all of you a very joyful holiday. This has been an extraordinary year for the medical school in so many ways. Each person on this campus has played an important role in helping to move the school forward in our educational, clinical, and research endeavors. This is a moment to feel proud and celebrate.

The year 2011 saw a number of important milestones. It was tremendously exciting in midsummer to celebrate the success of the Medicine >> Tomorrow campaign, which, in the face of a difficult economy, raised a record $783 million for the school. Also this year, we concluded the observance of the school’s Bicentennial and hosted a symposium that brought 15 of the world's most eminent scientists, clinicians, and scholars to campus. The year saw major advances in each of our core missions. In education, the curriculum design process produced a new framework to guide the creation of new courses and clinical experiences in the coming year. In research, we saw the creation of the Cancer Biology Institute on West Campus and a unique partnership with industry—and a Lasker Award to one of our colleagues. In the clinical realm, Yale surgeons developed and implanted the first tissue-engineered blood vessel in the United States, to fix a defect in the heart of a 3-year-old girl. Yale doctors also introduced new surgical and non-surgical interventions for conditions including asthma, glaucoma, heart disease, and cancer. Community service efforts included a very successful student-run Hunger & Homelessness Auction—now in its 19th year—which once again raised more than $30,000 for New Haven area service organizations. These are just a few examples of the hundreds, if not thousands, of notable achievements by faculty, students, and staff over the course of the year. It is your dedication and hard work that make this an extraordinary medical school.

Dean Robert Alpern: 333 Cedar Street

333 Cedar Street is a letter from Dean Robert J. Alpern, MD, Ensign Professor of Medicine, on topics of interest to the Yale School of Medicine community. Write to Dean Alpern at

The dome of Sterling Hall of Medicine, seen through the grillwork at the entrance on Cedar Street. Photo by Terry Dagradi

To all, I offer my thanks and congratulations on behalf of the school. May the coming year be one of health and happiness for you and your family. See you in 2012.


Robert J. Alpern, MD

Dean and Ensign Professor of Medicine