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Consortium Cancer Center

What does it mean to be part of an NCI Approved Consortium Cancer Center?

Speakers for 2017 Cancer Genomics Retreat (Princeton University)Speakers from Rutgers Cancer Institute representing Princeton University and Rutgers University gather for the 2017 Cancer Genomics Retreat.

The term Consortium Cancer Center is applied to an NCI-designated center and a non-designated partner. As New Jersey’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, our consortium partnership with Princeton University is one of 16 in the nation, and is the only one in which the parent designated cancer center is located in New Jersey. NCI recognizes a Consortium Cancer Center when investigators from separate scientific institutions partner to contribute actively to the development and achievement of a shared cancer research agenda. Consortium Cancer Centers demonstrate a high level of scientific engagement and interaction, with each member institution adding strategic value to the research mission.

As a result of the relationship between Rutgers Cancer Institute and Princeton University, scientific advances in the areas of cancer metabolism, genomics, and metastasis have contributed to impactful scientific discoveries and clinical progress. Collaborative research between investigators at Rutgers and Princeton Universities has let to many high-profile publications and garnered millions of dollars in federal research grants. The scientific synergy between researchers has grown significantly since the beginning of the consortium partnership. To further promote research collaboration across the consortium, Rutgers Cancer Institute allocates funding annually for pilot awards to support cancer research projects co-led by investigators at Rutgers and Princeton Universities. Federal and operational funding is also invested in supporting and developing shared resource core facilities across the Rutgers and Princeton University campuses. These shared resource core facilities offer an array of highly specialized cancer research equipment and services, including expert training in research techniques.

The Consortium relationship between Rutgers Cancer Institute and Princeton University offers other training opportunities as well. Each year, Rutgers Cancer Institute members spanning both Rutgers and Princeton Universities host  joint retreats, internship programs, and other collaborative initiatives that train the next generation of cancer research scientists and physicians. The close geographic proximity between Rutgers and Princeton Universities enhances the interactions and meaningful collaborations within this unique consortium that brings together the largest public and private Universities in New Jersey dedicated to a common mission: to eradicate cancer.

Collaborative activity includes that with Ludwig Cancer Research. Based at Princeton University, the Ludwig Princeton Branch is dedicated to the study of cancer metabolism. Combined with Ludwig’s leadership in cancer epigenetics and immunotherapy, advances in cancer metabolism generated at the Ludwig Princeton Branch will inform new strategies for cancer prevention and treatment. The clinical translation of Branch discoveries will be conducted in the tri-state area, including in partnership with RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute.

Yibin Kang, PhD, Warner-Lambert / Parke-Davis Professor of Molecular Biology
Princeton University 
As Associate Director, Consortium Research, Dr. Kang works closely with leadership at Princeton University and Rutgers Cancer Institute to recruit new members into the established Research Programs, identify opportunities to help clinical and population researchers link their work to the basic research base, and promote multidisciplinary cancer-focused training and develop new training opportunities across the consortium. He participates in the advisory committees of consortium-based shared resources, with special emphasis on the Flow Cytometry/Cell Sorting and Genome Editing Shared Resources. Dr. Kang also represents Princeton University in the cancer institute’s strategic planning, overseeing an integrated planning and evaluation process that enables achievement of research goals, identifying future recruitment and shared resource needs, and ensuring tangible commitments to the cancer institute across both Rutgers and Princeton Universities.
Karla Ewalt, PhD, Associate Dean for Research
Princeton University