Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
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New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
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New Brunswick, N.J. – Expanding its research horizons in the fight against cancer, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) has formally welcomed Princeton University as a scientific collaborator, which will allow for the sharing of resources and the strengthening of quality research programs at both institutions. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
CINJ, which is New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, operates under a “consortium cancer center” matrix allowing for formal scientific and academic collaboration between CINJ and other entities. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has historically been a part of this relationship since CINJ first opened in 1993, allowing for Rutgers scientists to work alongside CINJ’s physician scientists in CINJ laboratories and vice-versa. The latest partnership with Princeton University will allow for the same.
Many Princeton researchers from wide-ranging disciplines, including physics, genomics, chemical engineering and computer science, are engaged in cutting-edge projects to expand the fundamental understanding of cancer and develop new therapeutic models and treatment methods. These efforts are housed within numerous departments, institutes and centers, including the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and the Princeton Physical Sciences-Oncology Center, which was recently established with a $15.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to explore how cancer evolves under stress (see related story).
CINJ Deputy Director Edmund Lattime, PhD, who is also the associate director for Education and Training at CINJ and a professor of surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, says formally recognizing Princeton University in this way is a natural next step in enhancing the relationship between the two institutions. “For years our world-class scientists at both facilities have been collaborating on individual cancer research projects. By entering into a formal partnership, we are strengthening our team science approach so that we can collectively advance cancer research in New Jersey and beyond,” he said.
"Marrying Princeton's basic research with the clinical experiments at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a win-win scenario for scientists and patients," says James Broach, PhD, a Princeton professor of molecular biology and associate director of Princeton’s Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, who directs the partnership with Lattime. "By uniting Princeton's expertise in systems biology, genomics, and metabolism with CINJ's top-rate cancer molecular biology and clinical expertise, these collaborations provide opportunities for interaction that promise what the National Cancer Institute has been encouraging -- translational research that harnesses basic discoveries for the prevention and treatment of cancer."
CINJ Director Robert S. DiPaola, MD, professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, says the formal partnership will allow for both institutions to take advantage of shared resources such as equipment, databases and personnel, and would create joint training opportunities for post-doctoral students since there will be a broader base of laboratories in which to place them. He also notes the addition of Princeton research members to the consortium will further strengthen the entity as a research leader in the region, thus helping the consortium to attract additional state and federal funding.
Last year at this time, a team of researchers at Princeton University and CINJ had a paper published in the journal Cancer Cell that highlighted the discovery of a breast cancer metastasis gene (see related story). Currently, investigators from CINJ, Princeton and Rutgers universities are beginning work on a two-year study on the role of cell metabolism in the development and progression of cancer, thanks to a $1 million grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health. Among 21,000 applications for grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Challenge Grant Program, this project is one of fewer than two percent that have received funding to date. (See more on this feature story).
“By further fostering collaborations such as these,” noted Dr. Lattime, “we are laying the groundwork for breakthrough discoveries in cancer research, which will ultimately translate into cutting-edge treatments for patients. Only as a collective will we truly be able to make headway in the fight against cancer. We’re pleased to have Princeton alongside as a strong partner.”
About The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is dedicated to improving the prevention, detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer. CINJ’s physician-scientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a center of excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. To support CINJ, please call the Cancer Institute of New Jersey Foundation at 1-888-333-CINJ.
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides a mechanism to rapidly disseminate important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Major Clinical Research Affiliate Hospitals: Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital, and Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Affiliate Hospitals: Bayshore Community Hospital, CentraState Healthcare System, Cooper University Hospital*, JFK Medical Center, Mountainside Hospital, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton (CINJ at Hamilton), Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Somerset Medical Center, Southern Ocean County Hospital, The University Hospital/UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School*, and University Medical Center at Princeton. *Academic Affiliate
About Princeton University
As a research institution, Princeton University (www.princeton.edu) seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching. Scholarship and research are essential aspects of the University’s enterprise. Pushing the frontiers of knowledge and addressing real-world problems, Princeton scientists and scholars publish research across the spectrum of intellectual inquiry. Every member of the faculty is engaged in scholarly research. In addition, graduate students and upperclass undergraduates pursue independent research. While many research projects begin with individual scholars and scientists working within their academic departments, many others arise from collaborations between traditional academic disciplines. Interdisciplinary work is vital to Princeton.