ICIS Prestigious Awards

The Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research

Prestigious. Important. Celebrated

John O'Shea (L) Accepts 2016 Milstein Award from Tadatsugu Taniguchi

Jan Vilcek (L) Accepts 2016 Milstein Award from Tadatsugu Taniguchi

Carl Nathan (L) Accepts 2016 Milstein Award from Tadatsugu Taniguchi

For 25 years, the Milstein Awards have represented the pinnacle of scientific achievement in interferon and cytokine research and are conferred each year by the International Society of Interferon and Cytokine Research (now the International Cytokine and Interferon Society, ICIS) at a special event during its annual meeting.


The Milstein family, Vivian, her late husband Seymour, their son Philip and their daughter Connie 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.

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; and CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy).The preeminent Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research, commonly known as The Milstein Award, recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to interferon and cytokine research, either in a basic or applied field. Many of these achievements have led to the advancement of human health. The Milstein family also supports The Milstein Young Investigator Awards to recognize the work of individuals who have made an impact on interferon and cytokine research early in their careers, and The Milstein Travel Awards to 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.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. Seymour Milstein’s interest in fostering continued investigations in this emerging field, 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 such as multiple sclerosis and lupus.

Award: $10,000 from the Milstein Family Grant. ICIS Crystal and travel reimbursement from ICIS as well as Meeting registration waived for the year of the Award. Oral presentation during the Opening Ceremony of the Meeting immediately following presentation of the Award.

The Milstein Young Investigator Awards

ICIS members who will attend the upcoming annual conference and who have received a Ph.D or M.D. within the previous 10 years are eligible. Every year up to five awards are granted to individuals who have made notable contributions to either basic or clinical research. This award ($1500) is provided by a generous gift of the Milstein Family. ICIS members may apply themselves or nominate other eligible members for Milstein Young Investigator Awards. A CV and letter of recommendation (including confirmation of eligiblility) should accompany the application.

2016 Milstein Young Investigator Award Winners

ICIS Honorary Lifetime Membership Award

Dr. Young accepting the 2016 Honorary Membership award from President Tadatsugo Taniguchi.

Nominations are solicited for Honorary Life Memberships in the ICIS. Each year an individual will be awarded Life Membership as a tribute to his/her contributions to the field. Nominees should be individuals who have made substantive contributions to the cytokine/chemokine/interferon field over much of their careers, either in basic, clinical or applied research. Honorary members are esteemed members of the Society and provide us with an historical perspective and valued research tradition. Honorary Life Members are accorded all rights and privileges of active members, are exempted from Society dues and are listed in the dedicated Honorary Life Members section of the Society web site. The winner(s) is elected by vote of the ICIS Council and will be an invited speaker(s) at the next ICIS meeting. Nominations should be communicated to the Awards Committee of the ICIS.

2016 Honorary Life Membership Award


ICIS Distinguished Service Award

The ICIS will on occasion bestow this honor on an ICIS member who has made an extraordinary contribution to the Society. The individual will have devoted significant time and energy over a period of years to elevating the goals of the Society in furthering research on interferon, cytokines and chemokines. Nominations should be communicated to the Awards Committee of the ICIS.

ICIS BioLegend William E. Paul Award

Sponsored by:
This new award is given to an investigator that has made significant contributions to cytokine and interferon research throughout their career. Through the generosity of BioLegend the award consists of $2500 and a crystal block with the 3 D structure of IL-4, the cytokine most associated with Dr. Paul’s research.


2016 ICIS Biolegend William E. Paul Award



The Christina Fleischmann Award to Young Women Investigators

The rules for this ICIS award are the same as for the Milstein Young Investigator Award (see above) except for gender and the candidate must have received a Ph.D or M.D. degree  within the previous 10 years. This award is made possible through the generosity of  the Fleischmann Family and is dedicated to the memory of ISICR member and outstanding interferon research scientist Christina Fleischmann. This award is open to young  women investigators working in the cytokine, chemokine and interferon biology.

2016 Dr. Christina Fleischmann Award Winner



The Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate and Post-Graduate Awards for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research Sponsored by PBL Assay Science

The Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate and Post-Graduate Awards are targeted to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who have begun to make an impact in interferon and cytokine research. The Awards were originally designed to fill the gap among the awards offered by the ICIS to more senior investigators—the Young Investigator Award, the Christina Fleishmann Award, Honorary Membership, and The Seymour and Vivian Milstein Award. Candidates must be actively working in interferon/cytokine research but need not be ICIS members.

Awards: Each award amounts to a $3500 cash award, $1500 travel grant, a $2500 PBL Assay Science product credit for each awardee, and a complementary one-year ICIS membership.  

Each awardee will receive a check in the amount of $5000 payable to the awardee at the annual ICIS Awards Ceremony. Should an awardee not attend the annual ICIS meeting, a travel grant will not be awarded and that awardee will receive a check in the amount of $3500 following the ICIS meeting. Each awardee will also receive a $2500 product credit from PBL Assay Science good for one year from the date of the award. This is an annual award, and a recipient may receive an award only once. An individual who receives the Graduate Award, however, remains eligible for the Post-Graduate Award. One award will be given to a graduate student and one award to a post-doctoral fellow where candidates of suitable caliber are identified. In years where a suitable candidate is not identified, an award will not be bestowed.