Jan T. Vilček M.D., Ph.D. (born June 17, 1933) is a biomedical scientist, educator, inventor and philanthropist. He is a professor in the Department of Microbiology at the New York University School of Medicine1 and President of The Vilcek Foundation.2 Vilček, a native of Bratislava, Slovakia, (then part of Czechoslovakia) received his M.D. degree from Comenius University Medical School, Bratislava in 1957; and his Ph.D. in Virology from the Institute of Virology, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in 1962. In 1964, Jan Vilček, with his wife Marica, defected from Communist Czechoslovakia during a three-day visit to Vienna. In 1965, the Vilčeks immigrated to the United States, and have since lived in New York City. Vilček devoted his scientific career to studies of soluble mediators that regulate the immune system (cytokines), including interferon and tumor necrosis factor (TNF).