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The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

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Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ

PhRMA Releases ‘Research in Your Backyard’ for New Jersey; PhRMA, HINJ and WWFH-NJ Host Discussion Focused on Biopharma Research in Garden State

New Brunswick, NJ, September 16, 2017 — The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) on June 28 released a new report entitled “Research in Your Backyard: Developing Cures, Creating Jobs, Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in New Jersey,” which finds that 25,127 patients participated in clinical trials around the state in 2013, generating an estimated economic impact of $617 million.

The report was released at an event co-hosted by PhRMA, the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) and We Work for Health New Jersey (WWFH-NJ) that was held at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey on June 28.

In addition to a presentation of the new PhRMA report, the event featured a panel discussion of industry experts that was moderated by HINJ President and Chief Executive Officer Dean J. Paranicas.  The panelists were: Continue reading

Rutgers Cancer Institute Names Dr. H. Richard Alexander as Chief Surgical Officer

Dr. H. Richard Alexander

New Brunswick, NJ, September 10, 2017 — Expanding its surgical and research focus on cancers of the abdominal area and rare conditions including endocrine and mesothelioma malignancies, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has named H. Richard Alexander, M.D., FACS, as its new chief surgical officer.

Dr. Alexander also has an appointment as a professor of surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Dr. Alexander most recently was on faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Greenbaum Cancer Center, where he served as the head of surgical oncology in the Department of Surgery and professor and associate chairman for clinical research. Continue reading

Rutgers Cancer Institute Research Dr. Jennifer Tsui Receives $729K American Cancer Society Grant

Dr. Jennifer Tsui

New Brunswick, NJ, August 30, 2017 — Jennifer Tsui, PhD, a researcher at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, has been awarded a $729,000 Mentored Research Scholar Grant in Applied and Clinical Research from the American Cancer Society to further explore health care delivery and care transitions for underserved cancer patients.

The award supports investigators who are in the early stages of their career in becoming independent researchers as either clinician scientists or cancer control and prevention investigators.

Despite evidence that vulnerable populations often receive poor quality care, few studies have focused on understanding the underlying health care processes that contribute to suboptimal cancer care or poor transitions between primary care and oncology care. Continue reading

Rutgers Cancer Institute and National Cancer Institute Scientists’ DNA Repair Research Bolstered with $4 Million in Multi-Source Support

New Brunswick, NJ, August 23, 2017 — Cancer researchers have learned that by sharing their knowledge and forming strategic partnerships, they can more rapidly advance their discoveries leading to drug development, clinical trials and ultimately new therapies for cancer patients.

Thanks to $4 million in combined support, including $2 million in funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, physician-scientists at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey are embarking on a new collaboration with the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) intramural Center for Cancer Research (CCR). NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health. Continue reading

Rutgers Cancer Institute Reports Favorable Safety Profile Seen in Immunotherapy Drug in Aggressive Form of Lung Cancer

Dr. Janice M. Mehnert

New Brunswick, NJ, August 18, 2017 — The immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab has demonstrated a favorable safety profile and “promising durable clinical activity” in pretreated patients who exhibit high levels of the PD-L1 protein in advanced stages of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) – an aggressive form of the disease.

That is according to data from a phase 1b clinical trial conducted by Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey investigators and colleagues at centers around the world. The work appears in the current online edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology (doi: 10.1200/JCO.2017.72.5069).

Janice M. Mehnert, MD, director of the Phase 1/Investigational Therapeutics Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute, and senior director on the work said, “Immunotherapy drugs put the body’s natural defenses bak to work by targeting the PD-L1 protein and PD-1 receptor and blocking their ability to prevent T cells from destroying cancer cells.” Continue reading

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Names Dr. Janet Gordils-Perez Chief Nursing Officer

Dr. Janet Gordils-Perez

New Brunswick, NJ, August 3, 2017 — Janet Gordils-Perez, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, AOCNP, from Plainsboro Township, has been promoted to Chief Nursing Officer at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.  She had served as Director of Oncology Nursing.

Dr. Gordils-Perez came to Rutgers Cancer Institute in 2004 from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where she was an adult nurse practitioner and a clinical research nurse. Continue reading

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Investigators Receive $450K in Fellowship Grants

New Brunswick, NJ, July 27, 2017 — Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey investigators have received $450,000 in funding to support research projects in immunotherapy and basic science research that could impact pancreatic, breast and other cancers.

The Pre- and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Grants were awarded by the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research (NJCCR).

Eileen White, Ph.D., Rutgers Cancer Institute Deputy Director, Chief Scientific Officer and Associate Director for Basic Science, said, “As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute is dedicated to treatment, prevention, education and research.” Continue reading

Rutgers Q&A: Dr. Perry Halkitis, Openly Gay Dean of Rutgers School of Public Health, Seeks to Shatter Perceptions, Improve LGBTQ Health

Dr. Perry Halkitis

New Brunswick, NJ, June 20, 2017 — When Perry N. Halkitis, Ph.D., the incoming dean at Rutgers School of Public Health, is asked to discuss the accomplishments that make him most proud, his research in HIV/AIDS, his mentorship of young scholars and practitioners, and his roles as senior associate dean of New York University’s College of Global Public Health and director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies come to the fore.

But equal to those achievements is Dr. Halkitis’ identity as an openly gay man in academia and a first-generation college student.

Halkitis, who will join Rutgers in August, is enthusiastic about furthering the research he pursued at NYU. Continue reading

Sen. Menendez Visits Rutgers Cancer Institute to Illustrate Impact of Trump Proposed Budget Cuts on Lifesaving Biomedical Research that Leads to New Cures, Treatments

Sen. Bob Menendez and (l.) Dr. Steven Libutti

New Brunswick, NJ, April 13, 2017 — During a visit yesterday to the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and several of the state’s top biomedical researchers and experts, outlined the devastating impact the Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would have on lifesaving biomedical research, and treatments of diseases and neurological disorders.

New Jersey is the nation’s second largest recipient of NIH funding in the nation.

“A budget is a reflection of priorities,” said Sen. Menendez.  “The cuts proposed by the Trump Administration send a message that the research being done right here by some of nation’s most brilliant minds is not a priority.”

“It says the breakthrough discoveries that could potentially help someone like my mother in her fight against Alzheimer’s or give a terminally-ill child a shot at a healthy, happy life – is not worthy of federal investment,” Menendez added.  “That’s not a message I want to send.” Continue reading

Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ Resident Receives $1.8M Grant to Explore Chronic Stress Role in Cancer Development

Wenwei Hu, Ph.D.

Wenwei Hu, Ph.D.

New Brunswick, NJ, January 28, 2017 — A five-year, $1.8 million grant (R01CA203965) from the National Cancer Institute awarded to Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey resident research member Wenwei Hu, Ph.D., will support research to further elucidate the mechanisms behind the most frequently mutated gene in human tumors – p53.

The aim is to explore how chronic stress impacts cancer development, especially when cancers containing a mutation in p53, and identify molecular targets that would disrupt the effect of chronic stress on cancer development.

The p53 protein plays a central role in preventing cancer development, as loss of its tumor suppressor function has been shown to contribute greatly to cancer development. Continue reading