The Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research, represents the pinnacle of scientific achievement in interferon and cytokine research since 1988. This award is bestowed upon a leading biomedical research scientist who has made outstanding contributions to interferon and cytokine research, either in a basic or applied field. Many laureates have made seminal advancements that have enabled the successful treatment of disease or have the potential to lead to significant health benefits.
The Milstein family–Vivian, her late husband Seymour, their son Philip and their daughter Constance–are well-known philanthropists in the United States and abroad. For more than 50 years they have provided essential support for institutions and organizations at a time when funds from government agencies have been drying up. Seymour Milstein’s early insights into the critical importance of interferons led him to Sidney Pestka, M.D., one of the scientists at the forefront of interferon research and an active member of the former ISICR, and the Milstein family’s tradition of support for organizations dedicated to patient care and scientific research, motivated him and his wife Vivian to establish The Milstein Awards in 1988, two years after interferon was first approved for the treatment of hairy cell leukemia. Since that time, it has been widely recognized that interferons and the larger class of cytokines play critical roles in the development and progression of many major diseases including cancer, viral diseases such as hepatitis and influenza, and autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis and lupus. Milstein’s son, Philip Milstein, continues to generouly support this award, along with The Milstein Young Investigator Awards, which recognize the work of individuals who have made an impact on interferon and cytokine research early in their careers, and The Milstein Travel Awards, which give those who may not otherwise be able to attend the Annual Meeting of the ICIS an opportunity to share the most current interferon and cytokine knowledge with peers around from the world. The winner(s) will be an invited to speak at the annual meeting.
Among the research and healthcare-focused institutions that the Milstein family has championed are the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center; Columbia University and the University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center; the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services; The Cheryl and Philip Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning at Barnard College, and CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy).