Remicade Co-Inventor And NYU Professor Of Microbiology Jan Vilcek, M.D., Ph.D. Pledge To NYU School Of Medicine

Robert M. Glickman M.D., Dean of the New York University School of Medicine and CEO of NYU Hospitals Center, announced today that Jan T. Vilcek, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology, has pledged $105 million to the New York University School of Medicine - the largest gift ever made to the School and believed to be the largest philanthropic gift from an active faculty member to an academic medical center.  Dr. Vilcek has pledged the gift from royalties earned from Remicade®, and as a consequence the final amount of the gift could exceed the $105 million.

Remicade® is a potent anti-inflammatory agent used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.  Dr. Vilcek and his colleague, Adjunct Associate Professor of Microbiology Junming Le, Ph.D, developed the monoclonal antibody that is the basis for the drug now known as Remicade®, while working in the Department of Microbiology at the NYU School of Medicine.  Dr. Vilcek’s gift is an important milestone in New York University’s $2.5 billion fundraising campaign, and a critical investment in the School of Medicine as a world-renowned institution for cutting edge research, high quality education, and scientific innovation. 

Dr. Vilcek, a distinguished member of the NYU School of Medicine faculty for over 40 years, said the gift was in gratitude for the role NYU played in fostering an environment where his research could flourish. “I feel indebted to the School of Medicine,” said Dr. Vilcek,” and want to do as much as I can to help further enhance the basic sciences at this great institution, and also help to secure its role in shaping the future of biomedical science.”

Dr. Vilcek’s gift will greatly enhance the basic sciences at the NYU School of Medicine including microbial pathogenesis, cell biology, genetics, genomics and proteomics, and experimental pathology.  The gift will also provide for two endowed professorships in the Department of Microbiology, endow fellowships for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, support research and faculty recruitment in the Department of Otolaryngology, and will be used for a wide variety of facility developments throughout the School.

“We are incredibly grateful that Dr. Vilcek has chosen the School of Medicine as the beneficiary of this extraordinary gift,” said Robert M. Glickman, M.D., Dean of the NYU School of Medicine. “For more then 30 years, Dr. Vilcek has made tremendous contributions to our research programs and now he has gone far beyond that dedication by making this generous gift which is unprecedented in our School’s history.”

ABOUT DR. JAN  VILCEK

Dr. Vilcek, a native of Bratislava, Slovakia, received his medical degree from the Comenius University Medical School in Bratislava in 1957, and his Ph.D. from the Institute of Virology, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, also based in Bratislava, in 1962. Several years later he joined the faculty of NYU School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Microbiology. Dr. Vilcek devoted his entire scientific career to pioneering studies of soluble mediators that regulate the immune system, including interferon and tumor necrosis factor (TNF).  His work has earned him worldwide recognition and many honors. In 1989 Drs. Vilcek and Le generated a monoclonal antibody against TNF, a powerful promoter of inflammation.  In collaboration with the biotechnology company Centocor Inc. they developed the drug now known as Remicade®.  The success of Remicade® has spurred the development of other anti-TNF agents that are being used to treat a variety of inflammatory conditions.

ABOUT NYU MEDICAL CENTER

NYU Medical Center, one of the nation's premier centers of excellence in health care, scientific research, and medical education, is located on 30th Street and First Avenue in mid-town Manhattan. The Medical Center consists of two hospitals, Tisch Hospital and Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, and the New York University School of Medicine.  NYU School of Medicine maintains formal affiliations with several leading hospitals throughout New York City and Long Island including the Hospital for Joint Diseases, Bellevue Hospital, the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Lenox Hill Hospital, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, and NYU Downtown Hospital.