New Brunswick, March 24,2021 – Expanding its multidisciplinary team of professionals in the care of patients and their families with brain and spinal cord tumors, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has named Michael E. Salacz, MD as director of its Neuro-Oncology Program.  He is an associate professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He joins Rutgers Cancer Institute from the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he served as division chief of neuro-oncology and director of the Brain and Spine Tumor Program.

Dr. Salacz will lead the Rutgers Cancer Institute’s Neuro-Oncology Program, which specializes in the treatment of brain and spinal cord tumors including malignant gliomas (glioblastoma), non-malignant gliomas and other primary tumors of the central nervous system. The team of highly specialized experts from neurosurgery, radiation oncology, neuro-oncology, neuropsychology, neuropathology and rehabilitation medicine, among others, review cases in a formatted multidisciplinary approach. With more than 15 years of experience in the treatment of patients with central nervous system tumors, Salacz also has a background in caring for patients with metastatic tumors of the brain and spinal cord, including leptomeningeal disease as well as providing care for patients with central nervous system associated cancer syndromes.

"I am excited to join New Jersey’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center to bring advances to the field of neuro-oncology,” notes Salacz. “I look forward to working with the team of physicians and scientists in the Neuro-Oncology Program to continue the mission of improving outcomes for patients with brain and spinal tumors through improvements in diagnosis and treatment while providing patient-centered care, one patient at a time.

“Dr. Salacz enhances Rutgers Cancer Institute’s already extensive expertise and services in treating patients with neurological cancers,” notes Deborah Toppmeyer, MD, chief medical officer and chief of medical oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. “We look forward to his leadership as we continue to deliver the best care and experience for our patients.”

A New Jersey native, Salacz pursued his undergraduate studies at Cornell University, and was then a commissioned officer in the United States Navy through the first Gulf War conflict.  He then completed his medical training at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Salacz completed residency training in internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati followed by fellowships in medical oncology, palliative medicine and hematology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.  With a passion for the care of patients with brain and spinal cord tumors, he pursued further fellowship training in neuro-oncology at Duke University in North Carolina. 

Dr. Salacz is one of a select few fellowship-trained and board certified physicians in neuro-oncology, medical oncology and internal medicine in the United States. He is a member of the Society of Neuro-Oncology and has published a variety of articles in peer reviewed journals focusing on topics such as glioblastoma treatment, clinical trials and palliative medicine. Salacz also has additional training in alternative and holistic medicine approaches to brain cancer as well and remains focused on the care of the whole patient and support of the family throughout the treatment journey.

About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute, together with RWJBarnabas Health, offers the most advanced cancer treatment options including bone marrow transplantation, proton therapy, CAR T-cell therapy and complex surgical procedures.  Along with clinical trials and novel therapeutics such as precision medicine and immunotherapy – many of which are not widely available – patients have access to these cutting-edge therapies at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital in Newark, as well as through RWJBarnabas Health facilities. To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 848-932-8013 or visit