Rockefeller University and Rockefeller University Hospital Today
Rockefeller University (the name adopted in 1965 in recognition of the inauguration of the graduate degree programs) occupies 15 acres of enclosed grounds on the Upper East Side of New York, immediately adjacent to Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) to the west and the Stanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital to the north. The Hospital Building is an eight story structure in the middle of the campus that houses the inpatient and outpatient facilities as well as the laboratories of five investigators conducting clinical studies (Breslow, Coller, Dhodapkar, Krueger, and Rice), all of which were modernized within the past several years. Additional patient-related space and a conference room are occupied in the adjacent Nurses Residence and Founder's Hall buildings, which are attached by enclosed walkways. The laboratories of all other investigators on the campus are in buildings that are attached by completely or partially enclosed walkways and they can all be reached on foot within approximately four minutes.
The Rockefeller University Hospital is a free-standing, independent research hospital licensed by New York State Department of health, and fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). It differs from other hospitals in its dedication to medical research, and thus, for example it does not have an emergency room available to the public.
Virtually all patients admitted to the hospital or evaluated in the Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn Outpatient Research Center are in one or more research protocols. Patients are not charged for their hospital care or their physicians' services. The Hospital's costs are supported by the University and funds from the NIH NCRR Clinical and Translational Science Award, and salary support for the physician-scientists comes from the University and affiliated institutions as well as grant support.
The governing body of the Hospital is the Hospital Committee of the Board of Trustees, which also serves as an external scientific advisory committee, being composed in part of distinguished physician-scientists, including Drs. Edward Benz, President and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Joseph Goldstein, Nobel Laureate and Chairman of the Department of Molecular Genetics at Dallas Southwestern Medical School, and David Nathan, President Emeritus of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The Hospital Committee meets three times a year and hears reports on scientific progress and Hospital operations, as well as reports from Clinical Scholars on their projects to the Hospital Committee. The Hospital Committee advises the Physician-in-Chief and the President of the University on the operations of the Hospital, physician-scientist recruitment, scientific direction, and strategic planning for the clinical research program and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science.
The Hospital and its clinical programs are led by the Physician-in-Chief, Dr. Barry Coller, who also serves as the Principal Investigator of the Clinical and Translational Science Award and director of the Clinical Scholars program, the University's educational program for young physician-scientists, thus insuring that the Hospital's functions serve the scientific and educational goals of the University. Further integration of Hospital activities to support the clinical research mission is achieved by having Dr. James Krueger serve as both the Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital and the Co-Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Award. The Medical Director of the Hospital is Dr. Barbara O'Sullivan, who trained in Intensive Care medicine and has substantial experience in hospital administration. Dr. O'Sullivan also serves as our hospitalist, focusing on patient safety and setting standards for the nursing and medical staffs. Dr. O'Sullivan also leads her own clinical research studies related to individuals' perceptions of their participation in clinical research studies and assists other investigators with their studies. She is a member of the IRB, GCRC Advisory Committee (GAC), and other administrative committees, thus insuring communication between the Hospital leadership and the scientific enterprise.
The Medical Staff Executive Committee (MSEC), which sets medical policy for the Hospital, differs from comparable bodies at other institutions in focusing on the research mission. It is composed of investigators, Clinical Scholars, and key Hospital staff personnel, and chaired by Dr. Jan Breslow, Head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism. It is charged with medical staff credentialing and insuring that the Hospital functions in compliance with applicable State and JCAHO standards. Since the Hospital's mission is to support medical research, the MSEC also is charged with insuring that the Hospital functions, and rules and regulations advance the research mission.
There are approximately 75 different laboratories on the campus, each led by a Head of Laboratory (HOL) who reports directly to the President. HOLs span the academic ladder from assistant to full professor, but only full Professor HOLs have tenure. There are no academic departments, allowing each laboratory freedom to switch directions in pursuit of new scientific information. Studies involving human subjects that are conducted in the Hospital inpatient or outpatient units are, however, under the jurisdiction of the Physician-in-Chief. The budget of the University is $252 million, of which $115 million is research grant support and support provided to faculty members who are part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.