On October 21, 2015, NJ Biz released a story spotlighting cancer research at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The reporting focused on the establishment of the Omar Boraie Chair in Genomic Science. For those who are unfamiliar with endowed chairs, they are widely considered the top standard of continued support for a university that commits to an academic discipline.
In this case, that discipline is cancer research, and the support comes in the form of a $1.5 million pledge from the new Omar Boraie Chair. The article goes on to explain that the chair is named after a New Brunswick developer, Omar Boraie, and is part of a campaign by Rutgers known as the “18 Chair Challenge”. The concept is that an anonymous donor will match the $1.5 million donations resulting in a $3 million endowment for each.
For many years, researchers have battled the scourge of cancer seeking to find more effective treatments and hoping to discover what has long been an elusive cure. According to Yahoo.com, the research conducted at Rutgers focuses on the relatively new discoveries in the field of Genomics. The study of genes is rapidly changing the approach to cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Understanding cancer on a genetic level allows oncologists to create precise therapies unique to each patient. Breakthroughs in this kind of precision medicine help doctors to become more efficient at classifying types of cancer. They can then more precisely identify and group cancerous cells by similar characteristics. Reaching higher levels of accuracy of genomic identification leads to much better outcomes for sufferers.
One significant result of genomic sequencing; providing greater value in treatment options to those with rare cancers. To this point, these patients were left with little hope because they have had treatment options that at best were limited, and at worst ineffective. The new research at Rutgers is beginning to help even those patients whose cancers are no longer responsive.
Mr. Omar Boraie is hopeful that his family’s pledge will encourage others to do the same. He is no stranger to chemistry, has long been interested in cancer research, and remains dedicated to moving the cancer research forward by developing translational clinical treatments. The entire article is available here.