NYU Langone Medical Center has announced a $21 million gift from microbiology professor Jan T. Vilcek, MD, Ph.D., and his wife, Marica, to support research and education at the center.
The gift will create the Jan and Marica Vilcek Merit Scholarship Fund, which will cover the tuition costs of NYU medical students based primarily on merit as well as financial need. The gift also will be used to expand the Jan T. Vilcek Endowed Fellowship Fund, which was created to support the careers of young scientists, strengthen the basic sciences at the center, and support the purchase and renovation of a dormitory for undergrad and graduate medical students.
After joining NYU Medical Center as an assistant professor of microbiology in 1965, Vilcek devoted his career to the study of a group of natural immune system regulators called cytokines. Together with his NYU colleague Dr. Junming Le, he generated an artificial antibody to a type of cytokine, which led to the development of a drug known as Remicade that is used for the treatment of Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ulcerative colitis.
"When I came to this country, the Medical Center gave me the opportunity to be a part of their family, and since then it has been my intellectual home," said Vilcek. "Marica and I remain grateful to this institution, and we are delighted to enable talented young medical students and researchers to have the same opportunities that I did at NYU Langone."