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

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.


Contact: Sarah Smith
Weill Cornell Medical College

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