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Physician Profile

Rajat Bannerji, MD, PhD
Chief, Hematologic Malignancies
Professor of Medicine, Division of Blood Disorders, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

I came to Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in 2012 following six years of conducting clinical research in drug development in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining industry I was in full-time clinical practice as a hematologist-oncologist on active duty in the U.S. Army. This included four years as an attending physician at Madigan Army Medical Center preceded by three years of hematology-oncology fellowship training at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I completed my internship and residency in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital after obtaining a PhD and MD from Cornell.

I strongly feel my role, as a member of an academic medical center, is the ability to offer new treatments in the context of clinical trials. My clinical research is focused on the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and on the development of new treatments for B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. At CINJ, we participated in the nationwide clinical studies that resulted in the first FDA approvals for two new medications, ibrutinib and venetoclax, which changed the face of CLL treatment from chemotherapy to targeted oral medications. Harnessing the patient’s own immune system to fight their cancer is a rapidly expanding field of oncology research. I am the lead investigator of an international study of an immunotherapy agent, REGN 1979, being studied in the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell lymphomas.

While working in industry, I led the clinical development of a cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor from the first-in-human Phase I trial through multiple Phase I and Phase II studies. Here at Rutgers, I have the opportunity to work with a number of pharmaceutical companies to develop new treatments for hematological malignancies. With the resources available that can only be found at a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, I am also developing my own investigator initiated clinical study, participating in studies with national academic oncology cooperative groups, and working with a small start-up biotech company spun off from a Rutgers lab, to help them bring their molecule to a first-in-human study. This rich and fertile clinical research environment gives our patients access to clinical studies and novel treatments.

I am the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and research meeting presentations (abstracts), as well as a book chapter. I have presented clinical trial results and have given invited lectures at both national and international scientific meetings.

Clinical Expertise

Leukemia, Lymphoma, Blood Cancers, Blood and Marrow Transplant, Clinical Trials

Contact Information

To schedule a new patient appointment call 844-CANCERNJ (844-226-2376)
To schedule a follow-up appointment call 732-235-7615
For all other inquiries call 732-235-2465.