Niketa C. Shah, MD, named to role at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health
New Brunswick, N.J.– Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health have appointed Niketa C. Shah, MD, as chief of Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapies at New Jersey’s leading cancer program and the only one in the state designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. The selection comes following an extensive national search. Dr. Shah is also an associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She was most recently the director of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program at Yale University and Yale New Haven Children's Hospital.
Dr. Shah will enhance and oversee the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute, which in collaboration with The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, offers children, adolescents and young adults both allogeneic and autologous transplants for cancers including leukemia, lymphoma and solid tumor cancers. The program also offers cell-based treatments like gene therapy and immunotherapy, including CAR T-cell therapy, and is one of the only programs in the state of New Jersey that utilizes stem cell transplants in the treatment of benign diseases in children such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, immune system disorders, bone marrow failure disorders and inherited metabolic disorders.
“While my diverse training spans across different countries, I am thrilled to be back in New Jersey, my second home, to lead Rutgers Cancer Institute’s Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies Program,” notes Shah. “My vision is to offer stem cell transplants and cellular therapies to our pediatric patients near their homes, eliminating the need for pediatric patients to travel far or out of state for treatment. This approach provides an opportunity to revive parents' dreams for their children, dreams that were shattered by their life-threatening diseases”
“We’re thrilled for Dr. Shah to lead our skilled team of pediatric stem cell transplant physicians, and work alongside our advanced practice nurses, social workers, a pediatric psychologist and pediatric psychiatrist, who are all committed to the idea that children needing life-saving treatments deserve access to them close to home,” said Peter Cole, MD, chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Embrace Kids Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute and professor of pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “Her arrival significantly expands our pediatric BMT capacity and enhance the stature of our Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies Program.”
Shah received her medical degree from NHL Municipal Medical College in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Following her pediatric residency at Seth KM School of Postgraduate and Research in Ahmedabad, she completed her fellowship in Pediatric Hematology Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. She then pursued her second Pediatric Residency at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center. She pursued an additional fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant. Following the completion of her fellowships, she joined Phoenix Children's Hospital as a Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant physician and practiced there for six years.
She has published numerous peer reviewed articles focusing on topics relating to pediatric blood and bone marrow transplantation, CAR T-cell therapy, stem cell transplant and gene therapy for sickle cell disease and more. Shah is also a member of professional societies including the Pediatric Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Consortium, American Society of Transplantation and Cellular Therapy and the American Society of Hematology.
About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute, together with RWJBarnabas Health, offers the most advanced cancer treatment options including bone marrow transplantation, proton therapy, CAR T-cell therapy and complex surgical procedures. Along with clinical trials and novel therapeutics such as precision medicine and immunotherapy – many of which are not widely available – patients have access to these cutting-edge therapies at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital in Newark, as well as through RWJBarnabas Health facilities. To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 848-932-8013 or visit www.cinj.org/giving.
About The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, part of the Children’s Health Network of RWJBarnabas Health, is the focal point of New Brunswick’s growing children’s health campus, which includes the Rutgers Child Health Institute and PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital.
The 105-bed, state-designated, acute care children’s hospital is a state-of-the-art facility that is specially designed for children and family-centered care. From pediatric surgery, urology, and cardiology to oncology, hematology, pulmonology, and pediatric/emergency care, BMSCH’s specialists and intensivists provide advanced care for children of all ages – from fragile newborns to adolescents. BMSCH is nationally ranked in the U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospitals 2023-2024 awards for Orthopedics (#34) and Urology (#47). BMSCH is the only pediatric orthopedics program ranked in New Jersey. BMSCH is also home to New Jersey’s first designated pediatric trauma center, internationally recognized adolescent bariatric surgery center of excellence, and nationally recognized center of excellence in pediatric urologic robotic surgery.
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