Director of Research Education at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Honored for Work with Underserved Students
New Brunswick, N.J.- Helping students discover and embrace a world of scientific discovery is not just a job to Sunita Chaudhary, PhD; it is a personal mission. And because of her dedication, Chaudhary, the director of research education at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) is being honored by the Office for Diversity and Academic Success in the Sciences (ODASIS) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Through the Continuing Umbrella for Research Experience – or CURE – Program at CINJ, Dr. Chaudhary each year helps mentor 12 underserved high school and undergraduate students through a two-year program in which they attend course lectures on cancer biology and conduct hands-on work in the laboratory with CINJ clinical and basic science researchers. The program was started in 2003 with grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Johnson & Johnson. CURE is one of many programs offered through ODASIS to aid students in pursuing careers in the field of health and other sciences.
According to Chaudhary, approximately 20 students have completed the CURE program as undergrads, and nearly all went on to attend medical school, an accomplishment of which she is extremely proud. “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to support and shape the professional development of young minds. Watching them change from self-conscious high school kids to undergraduate students and from undergraduates to medical students is extremely fulfilling,” said the South Brunswick resident. “I feel honored to receive an award for something that I truly enjoy doing. Most importantly this award is recognition of the effort that CINJ faculty mentors put into the research training of the CURE students.”
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 Chaudhary’s work with these students greatly enhances one of CINJ’s core pillars, which is education. “Dr. Chaudhary’s guidance and influence not only results in the development of future doctors and scientists, but also in a number of these students coming back to New Jersey after their formal training to engage in occupations in these fields, which is a great benefit to our state,” he said.
Chaudhary, who received the honor at the ODASIS Fall Orientation event this past week, has been with CINJ for nearly eight years.
About The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (www.cinj.org) is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. CINJ’s physician-scientists 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 CINJ, call 732-235-8614 or visit www.cinjfoundation.org. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
The CINJ 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, Cooper University Hospital and Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Affiliate Hospitals: Bayshore Community Hospital, CentraState Healthcare System, 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