Newswise — ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell University has announced the creation of a new Cornell Center for Immunology, building on Cornell’s decades of fundamental and comparative research in the immunological sciences.

The virtual center will combine multiple research efforts across several departments and colleges on the Ithaca campus and strengthen ties to the university’s ongoing immunological research at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

Gary Koretzky, a rheumatologist, immunologist and Cornell’s vice provost for academic integration, has been named the inaugural director of the center. He said recent scientific advances in, and increased attention on, immunology are due in large part to “the great efficacy of novel immunotherapeutic approaches” to fighting disease.

“Everybody has heard about immunotherapies for cancer, but it’s not just cancer,” he said. “There are all these new drugs that have been developed that require a fundamental understanding of immunology that have impacted many, many different disease processes.”

In creating the immunology center, Koretzky said, Cornell is not trying to replicate the kind of center a medical school would create. Instead, it is taking advantage of the Ithaca campus’ unique strengths, such as fundamental science research, single-cell and comparative species analyses, biomedical engineering and advanced imaging.

Koretzky noted other recent efforts that have helped set the stage for Cornell’s Center for Immunology, including the start of a search for a new chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine’s establishment last fall of the Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation, which is creating new programs across Cornell’s New York City and Ithaca campuses to study the relationship between nutrition, inflammation and disease development.

Koretzky is one of eight councilors of the American Association of Immunologists and will serve as the organization’s president in 2021. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984.

For more information, see this Cornell Chronicle story.

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