EAST LANSING, Mich. - Just hours after the public kickoff of The Campaign for MSU, Michigan State University President Peter McPherson announced a gift commitment of $5 million from Nicholas V. Perricone, M.D., directed to MSU's College of Human Medicine (CHM).
The gift, announced during the inaugural celebration of The Campaign for MSU, will be used to establish the Nicholas V. Perricone, M.D., Division of Dermatology Endowment Fund. Designated for use by a new division-level program in dermatology, the gift will support a division chief, clinician educator, researcher/educator, and the research labs and programming required by a world-class center for advanced work in dermatology.
"This is the largest gift ever received by the college and one of the largest received by MSU from an individual," McPherson said. "What's so important about the Perricone Division of Dermatology is that it will benefit CHM and MSU with its cutting-edge work while bringing needed clinical services to the entire mid-Michigan region."
Perricone was raised in Branford, Conn., and received his undergraduate degree from the University of New Haven. It was not until the age of 31, however, that he enrolled in medical school at MSU. An internship in pediatrics at Yale Medical School and a residency in dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit followed.
He began his research at that time on how skin inflammation caused by factors such as age, sun exposure and the environment could be treated by a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and anti-inflammatory creams.
Today, Perricone is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American College of Nutrition, the American Academy of Dermatology and the Society of Investigative Dermatology. He is chairperson of the International Symposium on Aging Skin and holds dozens of U.S. and international patents.
Although his work always has been about more than basic skin care and beauty, this is how his research first came to the attention of the public. His 2000 best seller, The Wrinkle Cure, caused such a stir that famous clients were soon asking his advice and visiting his clinic in Meriden, Conn. His latest book, The Perricone Prescription, a Physician's 28-Day Program for Total Body and Face Rejuvenation, debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times best seller list.
"The overwhelming public response to his books, tapes, lectures and products demonstrates that Dr. Perricone's approach resonates with a large portion of the population," said Glenn Davis, dean of the College of Human Medicine. "But more than that, he is a nationally recognized dermatologist, author and educator whose holistic approach to medicine has led to his development of innovative methods in treatment and prevention.
"His approach to the patient aligns perfectly with the core values and central mission of the college," Davis said. "We are deeply appreciative of this outstanding endowment gift. It will set the tone for our college campaign and serve as an inspiration to others."
"We have every expectation that we will establish a national reputation with the talent we attract to the Perricone Division of Dermatology," said Lou Anna K. Simon, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Their research not only will expand upon the work Dr. Perricone has conducted but foster discoveries in the areas of melanoma and other skin diseases."
Perricone and his wife, Madeleine, currently make their home in Guilford, Conn., with their daughter, Caitlin. He has two grown sons by a former marriage: Nicholas, a law school student, and Jeffrey, a freshman in college.
"Now Madeleine and I can do something very special for MSU, letting our children see how satisfying it is to give something back," Perricone said.