Newswise just published an article on a New Jersey real estate developer’s decision to support cancer research. Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has recently announced the creation of a new endowed chair in Genomic Science named for Omar Boraie, a New Brunswick real estate developer who made a $1.5 million contribution to establish the professorship at Rutgers. The new endowed chair is part of a plan by the university to establish 18 such positions at the institute, with an anonymous donor matching each $1.5 million contribution. The university hopes to raise $3 million in total to fund each of the 18 chairs.
The Cancer Institute at Rutgers, the only comprehensive cancer center in New Jersey, is taking genomic sequencing a step further. While there are many universities and research centers studying sequencing for research purposes, Rutgers is one of the first facilities to use it to provide customized treatment to cancer patients. Genomic sequencing has helped to improve the prospects of survival for rare cancers and cancers with high mortality rates. It has also been of great benefit to those who have not responded to other treatment modalities.
According to NJ Biz, these advancements now make it possible for physicians to subdivide cancers into groups based on genetic differences between patients in order to provide a targeted treatment. This approach is vastly improving outcomes in cases that would have been virtually impossible to treat in the past.
According to Mr. Boraie’s statement on NY Times, his motivation for making the donation was the realization that if the precision approach being pioneered at Rutgers were available to all cancer patients, countless lives would be saved. Boraie, who is trained as a chemist and has had a lifelong interest in cancer research, said that just as the anonymous donor who is matching the $1.5 million donations inspired him, he hopes that others will be inspired by his contribution to support the research at the Rutgers Cancer Institute.