Vilcek Foundation Appoints Dr. Jedd Wolchok to Board of Directors

Wolchok joins the board having previously served as a juror with the foundation for the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science.

Dr. Jedd Wolchok. Photo courtesy of Weill Cornell Medicine.

The Vilcek Foundation has announced the appointment of Dr. Jedd Wolchok to the board of directors, effective May 1, 2024. Wolchok is the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center and a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. 

“Jan, Marica, and I are delighted to welcome Jedd to the Vilcek Foundation board,” says Vilcek Foundation President Rick Kinsel. “We look to our board of directors for insight and perspective on our projects and programs: Jedd is not only a leader in immunotherapy and oncology, but an academic and scientific mentor, and a philanthropist in his own right. We are honored and grateful to have him as a member of our team and look forward to working with him as we continue to develop our prizes and programs.”

Prior to joining the board of directors, Wolchok served as a juror for the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for the 2009 through 2024 prize cycles. Through his work at the intersection of immunology and oncology, he is uniquely poised to advise the foundation on prizes and program initiatives in science, biotechnology, and medicine. 

As a clinician-scientist, Wolchok’s discoveries have helped to establish immunotherapy as a fundamental approach to cancer treatment. His laboratory is funded as part of the Research Project Grant Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This program focuses on investigating novel immunotherapeutic agents in pre-clinical laboratory models in alignment with the goals of the NIH. Wolchok’s research at Memorial Sloan Cancer Center was instrumental in the clinical development leading to the approval of ipilimumab and the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab for advanced melanoma.

As a graduate student at NYU, Wolchok worked in the laboratory of Vilcek Foundation founder Dr. Jan Vilcek from 1989 through 1993; Vilcek subsequently served as Wolchok’s PhD advisor. In Vilcek’s 2016 memoir Love and Science, he highlights how Wolchok’s clinical trials of ipilimumab represent the future of immunotherapy applications—a field pioneered by Vilcek with the development of infliximab. 

In 2023, Wolchok was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. He is an elected member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. He serves on the board of directors of the American Association for Cancer Research and has also served on the board of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Wolchok is a full member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and center director for the Parker Institute of Immunotherapy. In addition to his clinical and research practices, he serves as a member of the Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award Selection Committee and a mentor with the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

The Vilcek Foundation

The Vilcek Foundation raises awareness of immigrant contributions in the United States and fosters appreciation for the arts and sciences. The foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation was inspired by the couple’s respective careers in biomedical science and art history. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded over $7 million in prizes to foreign-born individuals and has supported organizations with over $6 million in grants.

The Vilcek Foundation is a private operating foundation, a federally tax-exempt nonprofit organization under IRS Section 501(c)(3). To learn more, please visit

Source: The Vilcek Foundation

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