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Sens. Menendez and Booker, Reps. Gottheimer and Pascrell Announce $363,583 Grant for Hackensack University Medical Center

Washington, DC, September 8, 2017 — Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker and Congressmen Bill Pascrell (NJ-8) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced on September 7 that Hackensack University Medical Center in collaboration with the Stevens Institute of Technology will be receiving $363,583 in federal funds for cancer treatment research from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Cancer Institute.

“Thanks to Hackensack UMC’s John Theurer Cancer Center, North Jersey is a key player in the battle against cancer. I’m hopeful that their path-breaking research will one day overcome multiple myeloma cells,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5).

“For too long, our region has received back pennies on the dollar we send to Washington,” Rep. Gottheimer said.  “That’s why I’ve been laser focused since day one on improving the return on investment on our federal tax dollars—clawing them back for our district. I’m proud to see local communities like Hackensack secure $363,583 to help conquer cancer.”

Jenny Zilberberg, PhD, PI., said, “It’s in great part thanks to this grant funding that my laboratory members can live and work in New Jersey, focusing on the development and validation of an in vitro platform to test treatment efficacy, in a personalized manner, for individuals suffering from multiple myeloma.”

“This effort,” Dr. Zilberberg said, “is led by a multidisciplinary group of scientists and physicians, including Woo Y. Lee, PhD, also a PI of this project, at the Stevens Institute of Technology and David S. Siegel, MD, PhD, chief of the Multiple Myeloma Division at The John Theurer Cancer Center.”

Senator Menendez said, “The important work at Hackensack University Medical Center represents the future of medical care by developing tailored treatments for individuals that will yield better results with fewer side effects.”

“Supporting these life-saving efforts through the National Institutes of Health,” Senator Menendez added, “will improve the overall quality and delivery of care at our local hospitals and ensure they remain in the forefront of medical innovation.”

“Now more than ever, it’s vital we fight for federal resources like this as we continue to protect access to healthcare for all Americans,” said Senator Cory Booker.

“Investing in research and innovation in cancer treatment not only helps foster advancement in life-saving technologies, but it helps stimulate growth in an important sector of our region’s economy,” Senator Booker said.

“I applaud Hackensack University Medical Center for their efforts to remain at the forefront of cancer research and treatment and their commitment to providing quality healthcare for New Jerseyans,” Booker added.

Congressman Pascrell said, “The grant will be a boon for the important cancer research being done at the hospital.  In Congress, there is some sentiment that scientific research is a waste of money. But ask anyone if they want to find a cure for cancer and suddenly science no longer seems like the enemy. It is programs like this that make the incremental progress needed to reach a breakthrough.”

Dr. Zilberberg’s team is based in Hackensack UMC’s John Theurer Cancer Center, a 775-bed not-for-profit teaching, tertiary care and research hospital.

The John Theurer Cancer Center has the largest clinical research team in New Jersey, with over 65 dedicated staff for adult oncology research only and over 300 ongoing clinical trials.