Newswise — New Brunswick, N.J., February 6, 2014 – Aiming to enhance its clinical research program, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is welcoming Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS, as Associate Director for Clinical Science. Dr. Kaufman, who is nationally recognized for his work in cancer immunology, is a recipient of major grant awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) and most recently was the associate dean at Rush Medical College and director of the Rush University Cancer Center in Chicago.
Kaufman, who also will serve as the Chief Surgical Officer at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, has worked with national and international collaborators over the past two decades on cancer vaccine therapy research targeting melanoma and prostate cancer. As the principal investigator of numerous studies funded through research grants from the NIH, NCI, pharmaceutical companies and philanthropic entities, Kaufman has extensive experience in developing clinical trial protocols.
As head of clinical science, Kaufman will oversee all aspects of clinical research including how resulting discoveries translate from the laboratory bench to patient bedside. But as Kaufman notes, that process goes a step further, as the nature of clinical trials has shifted dramatically in recent years. “Rapid advances in cancer immunotherapy and genomic analysis are enabling more precise and personalized treatments. With that, we can further examine how these new therapies are impacting patients through clinical trials and take that information back to the laboratory for fine tuning,” he said.
In his new role, Kaufman seeks to increase the scientific depth of trials developed on site by Cancer Institute investigators and streamline protocol process in order to increase patient participation. He also will be responsible for launching and leading a number of specialized trials aimed at both molecular targets and specific cancer disease sites utilizing the strengths and capabilities of distinct Cancer Institute centers and programs.
“The addition of Dr. Kaufman to our team will enhance clinical research operations at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and further position our center as a leader in unique clinical trial design and delivery. The ability to more effectively plan and conduct this type of research ultimately will result in more opportunities for patients to receive the very latest novel therapies,” noted Cancer Institute Director Robert S. DiPaola, MD.
An author or co-author of some 200 journal publications and book chapters, Kaufman sits on numerous journal editorial boards and grant review panels. He also has held leadership and academic appointments at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University, at Montefiore Medical Center and at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In the near future, Kaufman also will take on a clinical role in seeing patients in the Cancer Institute’s Melanoma and Soft Tissue Oncology Program.
About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (www.cinj.org) is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. As part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey is dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and to serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. Physician-scientists at the Cancer Institute engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life. To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 732-235-8614 or visit www.cinj.org/giving. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheCINJ.
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides the highest quality cancer care and rapid dissemination of important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. System Partner: Meridian Health (Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center, Southern Ocean Medical Center, and Bayshore Community Hospital). Major Clinical Research Affiliate Hospitals: Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Medical Center, and Cooper University Hospital. Affiliate Hospitals: JFK Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (CINJ Hamilton), Shore Medical Center, Somerset Medical Center, The University Hospital and University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro.