Category: Precision Medicine Research

Rutgers Cancer Institute Establishes Omar Boraie Chair

As a pledge to it’s support and dedication to further research in the field of precision medicine, the Rutgers Cancer Institute (http://patch.com/new-jersey/newbrunswick/omar-boraie-chair-genomic-science-established-rutgers-cancer-institute) has established the Omar Boraie Chair in the field of Genomic Science, as reported in NewsWise on 10 October 2015 (http://newswise.com/articles/omar-boraie-chair-in-genomic-science-established-at-rutgers-cancer-institute). Such prestigious endowments represent a university’s commitment to and recognition of superlative levels of academic discipline, as well as confirming it’s full support of continued progression in the field. This Chair is named in honor of Omar Boraie, a New Brunswick developer who pledged $1.5 million toward it’s support. Rutgers University has launched a campaign known as the “18 Chair Challenge”, in which each $1.5 million donation made to each of the 18 chairs is being matched by an anonymous donor, allowing the campaign to raise $3 million per chair.

Genomic Science is itself a new and rapidly developing one which is challenging the way the medical profession applies the practices of cancer diagnosis and treatment. It applies genetic principles to the study and treatment of tumors, giving oncologists more options to customize therapies for more successful results.

Recently, President Barack Obama announced during a televised speech the formation of a Precision Medicine Plan designed to focus on the discovery of cures for a number of life-threatening diseases, such as cancer.

Rutgers Cancer Institute is at the forefront of cutting-edge, next-generation gene sequencing as a type of tumor research, with the application of gene sequencing as a means of patient care. Rutgers was one of the first medical facilities in the United States to use this precision medicine approach. As a result, genomic sequencing has been successful in the discovery of new methods of therapy for people suffering from lesser-known forms of cancer and extremely limited or altogether ineffective forms of treatment. These discoveries at the forefront of precision medicine have provided a greater ability to identify and classify various cancers into sub-populations by similar characteristics but differing genetic identifiers, making it possible to foresee positive patient outcomes and to create customized cancer therapies for individual patients.

Omar Boraie has an extensive background in Chemistry born of a nearly lifelong interest in cancer research. Borie stated,”Physician-scientists at Rutgers University are making great advances in precision medicine with regard to patients who are no longer actively responding. Imagine using said science to benefit all cancer patients? I have hopes that this pledge will garner the support of others so this work can meet and exceed the goal.”

Named to the Omar Boraie Chair is Associate Director for Translational Science and principal investigator of the precision medicine clinical trial at Rutgers Cancer Institute / Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD. Dr Ganesan came to Rutgers Cancer Institute in 2005 from Harvard Medical School’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is an internationally renown oncologist who had the following to say regarding cancer: “What has been learned through the years is that cancer is comprised of a collection of diseases, each one having distinct features. Rather than classifying cancer type by the organ where it originates, more rapid genomic analysis allows for further classification by the types of changes in each cancer, leading to more precise, personalized therapy. It is an honor to be named the Omar Boraie Chair in the field of Genomic Science. This pledge will be instrumental in benefiting clinical research in allowing better understanding of cancer biology, which will help patients who suffer from the most rare and challenging forms of the disease, providing renewed hope to cancer patients and their loved ones.”