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Weill Cornell Medical College Gets $100M From Former Enron Chief

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880 / AP) - A $100 million dollar gift from New York City philanthropists Renee and Robert Belfer was announced with much fanfare at Weill Cornell Medical College on Wednesday.

WCBS 880’s Marla Dimaond on The Story

A new medical research facility on the Upper East Side will bear their names.

“It’s going to have an effect that’s going to last for generations because this doubles the research space,” said dean Antonio Gotto.

Gotto says space constraints have limited the medical school’s ability to attract top researchers and grants.

“The coin of the realm of medical schools and academic medical centers is space,” said Robert Belfer.

Belfer, whose family has had a long relationship with the hospital, is a former Enron director, who lamented that the energy company’s collapse has prevented him from making more gifts like this.

He says the gift is in memory of his father and two sisters who died of cancer.

“The building is certain to house discoveries that will benefit my family, New Yorkers, and all mankind,” he said.

Weill Cornell is raising $1.3 billion to build a 480,000-square-foot medical research facility where thirty new researchers will focus on a range of urgent health issues, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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