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Kilbourne, Edwin D., M.D., 1920-2011: Home

Portrait of Edwin D. Kilbourne, M.D., 1920-2011

Portrait of Edwin Kilbourne, M.D.

Books at HSL by Edwin D. Kilbourne

Brief Biographical Sketch

Birth:  July 10, 1920, Buffalo, NY
Death: February 21, 2011

NYMC History:

  • Research Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, 1992-2002.
  • Professor Emeritus, Microbiology and Immunology, 2002-2011.


"Medical researcher who figured out how to outwit fast-evolving flu germs, developing a new vaccine each year by intermingling genes of different disease strains..." (New York Times, February 21, 2011).

From the Chironian (Spring/Summer 2011): "Dr. Kilbourne was a member of the College faculty from 1992 until his retirement in 2002. He established the College laboratory that supplied the recombinant strains used in preparing the annual influenza vaccine used worldwide, and it continues today. Dr. Kilbourne donated a catalog of nearly 200 influenza virus reassortants and mutants to the National Institutes of Health to enable scientists free access to the library of viral artifacts, named the Kilbourne/New York Medical College Archive."

From the New York Times (February 26, 2011): "New York Medical College is saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend, Edwin S. Kilbourne, M.D., professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology. A leading authority on influenza, he brought prestige to NYMC through his dedicated efforts to provide recombinant strains used in preparing the annual influenza vaccine, thus helping to ensure an adequate supply worldwide. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza crisis, he was frequently called upon for his expertise and vast knowledge of earlier flu epidemics. He served on many scientific boards and advisory committees, and in 1983 was honored by The New York Academy of Medicine with its highest scientific award. Dr. Kilbourne was a member of the College faculty from 1992 until his retirement in 2002. We will miss his dedication and scientific acumen, and we extend heartfelt condolences to his family. Ronald F. Poe, Chairman Board of Trustees Karl P. Adler, M.D. President and CEO Ralph A. O'Connell, M.D., Provost and Dean School of Medicine Ira Schwartz, Ph.D. Professor and Chairman Department of Microbiology and Immunology."


Additional Biographical Information:

  • Founding Chairman of the Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1969.
  • Election to the Association of American Physicians (1962), The US National Academy of Sciences (1977), and the American Philosophical Society (1994). 
  • Professor of Public Health and Director of Virus Research, Cornell University, appointed 1955.
  • Appointments at Rockefeller Institute and Tulane University.
  • US Army Medical Corps.
  • Residency, New York Hospital, Cornell University.
  • AB (1942) and MD (1944) degrees from Cornell University.

Selected Biographical Articles