Embrace Kids Foundation Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Proposed at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Nationally recognized pediatric oncology leader Peter D. Cole, MD, joins the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
April 10, 2018

Peter D. Cole, MDNew Brunswick, N.J. – With an aim to propel precision medicine and other cutting-edge research to better inform treatment decisions for the youngest of patients, nationally distinguished pediatric hematology/oncology leader Peter D. Cole, MD, has been named the Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the proposed Embrace Kids Foundation Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, which was officially established at today’s Rutgers Board of Governors meeting. 

Dr. Cole was recently named as professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He is currently an associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York. Long supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute and other philanthropic entities, Cole is an active clinical researcher having developed pediatric cancer clinical trial protocols in conjunction with the national cooperative organization Children's Oncology Group and other collaborators.

Throughout his career, Cole also has teamed with Rutgers Cancer Institute investigators on studies exploring chemotherapy resistance, alternative therapies for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and improved therapies for adolescents and young adults with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma. In his role as Embrace Kids Foundation Chair, he will focus on precision medicine as well as other cutting-edge research.

“This chair provides an opportunity to advance our understanding of pediatric cancer through precision medicine and improve outcomes. We are grateful to Embrace Kids Foundation for helping to support this very important work.  We are equally pleased that Peter Cole, a highly accomplished clinician and researcher, will be leading our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program and helping to expand the depth and breadth of pediatric cancer treatment offerings across RWJBarnabas Health,” notes Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS, who is also senior vice president of oncology services at RWJBarnabas Health and vice chancellor for cancer programs for RBHS.

The chair was established by Embrace Kids Foundation, which made a $1.5 million gift to help support it. “Inspired by the scientific wonder and human compassion exhibited by former Cancer Institute Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Chief Dr. Barton Kamen, Embrace Kids Foundation thought it fitting to fund a chair in his memory,” notes Embrace Kids Foundation Executive Director Glenn Jenkins. “For 26 years, Embrace Kids has exclusively supported two medical programs with major gifts; Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The endowed chair was an opportunity to make a substantial investment in those two institutions and create a permanent fund for faculty development. Embrace Kids is a strong and diverse community and that includes the caregivers. Dr. Cole was with us during ‘the magical Bart era’ and will take this program to new heights as its new medical leader. We welcome Peter back!”

Cole will begin his new roles at Rutgers Cancer Institute when he arrives in July – but he is no stranger to the New Brunswick campus, having been recruited years ago to the Cancer Institute upon completion of a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship in New York. “When I arrived back then I was fortunate to be mentored by one of the most brilliant leaders in the field - Dr. Barton Kamen. I am truly humbled to be named the Embrace Kids Foundation Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology established in Dr. Kamen’s memory, so that I can continue to carry his vision forward in advancing pediatric cancer research and keeping that ‘human’ connection in treating the ‘whole’ patient and not just the disease,” reflects Cole.

About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute, along with its partner RWJBarnabas Health, offers the most advanced cancer treatment options including clinical trials and novel therapeutics such as precision medicine and immunotherapy – many of which are not available at other facilities across the state.  Patients have access to these cutting-edge therapies throughout the state at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital in Newark, as well as at RWJBarnabas Health. 

Along with world-class treatment, which is often fueled by on-site research conducted in Rutgers Cancer Institute laboratories, patients and their families also can seek cancer preventative services and education resources throughout the Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJBarnabas Health footprint statewide. To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 848-932-8013 or visit Follow us on Facebook at

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