New Brunswick, N.J., April 29, 2021 – Many years of research devoted to cancer has led to valuable insight and life-saving measures. To highlight the importance of lifesaving research to the millions of people around the world impacted by cancer, National Cancer Research Month, led by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), is celebrated during May.

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in partnership with RWJBarnabas Health is matrix style, basic, clinical and population research center as well as the state’s only NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, a designation reserved for those cancer centers who hold the highest standards in research and allow for scientific findings to be translated straight from the laboratory to a patient. Research is currently being conducted in areas including behavioral science, precision medicine, systems biology, oncogenesis, tumor virology and immunology, autophagy, drug development and resistance, the relationship between cellular and genetic alterations and tumor development, cancer control and prevention, bioinformatics and cancer genomics.

The following research experts from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey are available for comment on the impact of their respective cancer research areas during the month of May:

Eileen White, PhD, is deputy director, chief scientific officer and associate director for basic research at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, distinguished professor of molecular biology and biochemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University and the co-director of the Cancer Immunology and Metabolism Center of Excellence at Rutgers Cancer Institute. She was also recently elected to the American Association for Cancer Research Academy 2021 class of fellows, a prestigious accolade offered only to individuals whose work has had a significant and enduring impact on cancer research. Her research focuses on translational research modulating the apoptosis pathway for cancer therapy and on the role of cellular metabolism in cancer progression and treatment.

Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD, is chief of molecular oncology, associate director for translational research at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Omar Boraie Chair in Genomic Science. He is also a professor of medicine and pharmacology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. With a research interest in breast cancer biology and DNA repair, Dr. Ganesan is currently exploring how DNA repair defects in cancers can be exploited to develop novel effective treatments. Dr. Ganesan runs a basic science laboratory focused on cancer genomics and breast cancer biology, where members of his team works closely with computational scientists in interpreting large scale cancer genome data.  

Elisa V. Bandera, MD, PhD, is professor and chief of Cancer Epidemiology and Health Outcomes and co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Her major research interests include the impact of obesity and body composition and related comorbidities on breast and ovarian cancer risk, treatment and survival outcomes and survivorship with a focus on cancer health disparities and the development of evidence-based dietary guidelines for cancer prevention and survival. Dr. Bandera has served in numerous advisory boards and expert panels for several organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the American Institute for Cancer Research. Her research has been funded by several grants from the National Cancer Institute.

Howard S. Hochster, MD, FACP,  is associate director for Clinical Research and director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and director of Oncology Research at RWJBarnabas Health. His clinical expertise and research interests are dedicated to early drug development and clinical pharmacology, focused on tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Hochster has led numerous clinical trials, has been at the forefront of clinical research in GI Oncology and has been instrumental in the approval of eight new drugs for the treatment of colon cancer. Dr. Hochster shares the vision of the Rutgers Cancer Institute leadership of a unified, robust and broad-based clinical trials program, and his goal is to bring the very best clinical trials to patients in New Jersey. Dr. Hochster can comment on the importance clinical trials.

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