Public Release:  Designer Michael Kors' gift of $3M establishes endowed immunology professorship at Weill Cornell

Weill Cornell Medical College

NEW YORK (November 7, 2013) -- Award-winning fashion designer Michael Kors has dedicated his career to designing luxury American sportswear. Now, with a $3 million gift to Weill Cornell Medical College, one of America's most recognized faces in fashion is seeking to significantly help advance human health.

Kors' gift, announced today by Weill Cornell Medical College, establishes and endows the Michael Kors Professorship in Immunology, which will support a preeminent immunologist--initially a new recruit--who will lead Weill Cornell research into the molecular underpinnings of cancer, autoimmune diseases and other immunological disorders. The gift was made in honor of Dr. Charles Steinberg, the Howard and Carol Holtzmann Professor in Clinical Medicine and professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, who has been Kors' longstanding primary care physician.

"We are deeply grateful to Michael Kors for his generosity in helping us translate groundbreaking medical discoveries into the most advanced care for patients," says Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. "As an immunologist, I am especially appreciative of his support as we search the immune system to find the root causes of diseases that affect millions of people around the world. Mr. Kors' gift will enhance our efforts to find innovative treatments and therapies for these illnesses."

"I am extremely honored by Michael's gift in support of immunology research at Weill Cornell," Dr. Steinberg says. "This gift is a true affirmation of doctor-patient relationships that transcend the provision of medicine alone, and is something I greatly appreciate."

"I feel so fortunate to be able to make this donation to Weill Cornell to establish the Michael Kors Professorship in Immunology," Kors says. "It's in honor of my longtime friend Dr. Charles Steinberg and the great work he's done. By establishing this program, we hope to help the medical college's study of immunology and allow it to further its focus on discovering new treatments."

Weill Cornell researchers continue to mine the field of immunology to pinpoint the origins of some of the world's most formidable health challenges, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, rheumatologic disorders, immune deficiencies and transplant rejection. The Michael Kors Professorship in Immunology underscores the importance of immunology to these diseases and to the success of precision medicine, the use of personal information to provide effective health care.

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Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances -- including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.

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