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Love and Science: A Memoir (Anglais) Relié – 9 février 2016


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Description du produit

Revue de presse

"Jan Vilcek’s book tells an astonishing story of two intertwined journeys—one scientific, the other personal.  The arc of the personal journey is remarkable: a childhood in Bratislava torn apart by Nazism and then overshadowed by Communism and an escape to a new continent.  The scientific journey is just as vast—from explorations in immunology and microbiology to the discovery of some of the most remarkable medicines of our times.  In both journeys, we encounter the essential ingredients of adventure: the urgency of exploration, flashes of inspiration, false leads, sudden successes, the importance of serendipity, the tortuous ups-and-downs of failures and struggles—but above all, that powerful animus to explore and discover new worlds. I could not put it down." —Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, author of The Emperor of All Maladies

"Jan Vilcek does not make himself the center of a heroic narrative but gives space to colleagues, friends, and family, yet emerging from this narrative is the unmistakably wise, warm, optimistic, and modest soul of a great man." —Yiyun Li, author of Kinder than Solitude and Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

"This is a memoir to be cherished.  Dr. Jan Vilcek’s remarkable life bears witness to the totalitarian evils of Nazism and Communism that shaped his native Czechoslovakia, and to the life-saving miracles he produced in the laboratories of his adopted homeland, the United States.   It’s a story of courage and freedom, of discovery and philanthropy—told with the elegant modesty of a man who devoted his life to easing the world’s pain.   Put simply, it demands to be read." —David Oshinsky, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History for Polio: An American Story   

"Jan Vilcek tells a gripping story of a childhood on the run, escape from tyranny, and the building of a career and a discovery that benefits millions. A tale of both remarkable humanity and science, and hard to put down..." —Martin Blaser, MD, author of Missing Microbes

"It’s a marvelous book, as interesting about science as it is about the adventures of this extraordinary man. I couldn’t put it down." —Charles Simic, poet, essayist, and translator, past Pulitzer Prize winner and Poet Laureate of the United States

“Jan Vilcek’s extraordinary book sets a new standard in science writing and will inspire generations to come.  It tells us what America is all about and shows that success can lead to generosity and visionary philanthropy.” —Eric R. Kandel, MD, Nobel Laureate, author of In Search of Memory and The Age of Insight 

"In this compelling memoir, a modest giant in medical research survives the Nazis, escapes the Communists, thrives as an immigrant scientist, and turns unexpected wealth into prizes that remind us of the value of immigration.   A great story appearing at a hazardous time in our nation's history!” —Harold Varmus, MD, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine  

Présentation de l'éditeur

Long before he became one of the world's most celebrated immunologists, Jan Vilcek began life in Slovakia as the child of Jewish parents at a time when Jews were being exterminated all across Europe. He owes his and his mother’s survival to the courage of brave people and good luck. As a young man growing up in Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of the Second World War, Vilcek went to medical school and chose a career in virology and immunology at a time when these fields were still in their infancy. While still in his twenties he published a paper in the prestigious journal Nature, and he hosted the first international conference on interferon. Fleeing Communist Czechoslovakia with his wife Marica, Vilcek continued his research at NYU School of Medicine, going on to establish a highly successful career in biomedical research, and creating one of the most important and trailblazing medicines of our age.

After his arrival in the US in 1965 as a penniless refugee, he soon went on to spearhead some of the key advances in the research of interferon that enabled its therapeutic application, and through his research into tumor necrosis factor (TNF) made advances that led to the discovery of new genes and proteins and signaling pathways, opening up previously uncharted areas of medical innovation that have led to important new treatments for a wide range of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Along the way Vilcek acquired material wealth he had never aspired to, catapulting him into the world of philanthropy.

Love and Science shows how advances in science sometimes result from the greatest disappointments, and how achievement in medical research is usually a team effort, where ideas are shared, where friendship and love sometimes matter most and serendipity is as important as a will to succeed—and where, over time, the least expected thing sometimes becomes the most important. In Vilcek's case the vaunted cure for cancer that many saw in TNF never materialized. However, out of the ashes of that hope came many related treatments that have changed countless lives and alleviated much suffering.

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