Newswise — New Brunswick, N.J., July 7, 2014 – Robert S. DiPaola, MD, director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has been selected to receive the Melvyn H. Motolinsky Research Foundation Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his accomplishments and leadership in the field of oncology.
Dr. DiPaola who has international expertise as a prostate cancer physician and researcher, was viewed as a “luminary” in being chosen for this year’s honor, which is reserved for those who make a difference in the lives of many through leadership in healthcare, public health, public service or science. “I am deeply honored to be the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Service Award from the Melvyn H. Motolinsky Research Foundation. While this is an honor for me, the impact of our cancer research and center for the people of New Jersey is only possible with the work and collaboration of so many others, especially my colleagues at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey,” noted DiPaola.
Having been with the Cancer Institute of New Jersey since 1994 and serving as its director since 2008, DiPaola is responsible for research activities and administrative oversight at the Cancer Institute, which is one of the nation’s 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers – and the only one in New Jersey.
Major initiatives DiPaola has helped spearhead at the Cancer Institute include precision medicine research. Through this effort, investigators are examining rare and poor-prognosis cancers through genomic analysis in order to identify novel and more personalized treatment options for patients. As the principal investigator of a $4.25 million award (UM1CA186716) from the NCI, DiPaola is also leading the Cancer Institute’s efforts on a precision experimental therapeutics endeavor in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. The initiative is geared toward bringing new targeted therapy options to patients in New Jersey and nationwide through the development of innovative early-phase clinical trials.
As an individual investigator, DiPaola has considerable experience in translational research focused on the study of prostate cancer and drug resistance and is recognized both locally and nationally in this area. He was one of the earliest investigators to target the degradation of bcl-2 in both the laboratory and clinic as a means to restore drug sensitivity. As Chairman of the Genitourinary Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) from 2004 until 2011, he led the committee to develop national Phase II and III studies, and through two successful NCI reviews. He continues as a full member of multiple NCI steering committees, including the Investigational Drug Steering Committee and the Genitourinary Steering Committee, and was chairman of an NCI apoptosis and autophagy task force.
The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to DiPaola this fall at the 41st Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Melvyn H. Motolinsky Research Foundation. Melvyn H. Motolinsky was a 25-year-old attorney practicing in New Brunswick in 1969, when his life was cut short by leukemia. The foundation created by Motolinsky’s family to honor him supports research in leukemia and other blood-related diseases in a number of ways, including an established fellowship for postdoctoral students, an endowed chair in hematology and the Melvyn H. Motolinsky Laboratory for Hematology Research at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
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), Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, Shore Medical Center, The University Hospital and University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro.