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Rutgers Receives $10M Gift for Genetics Research into Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Rutgers University today said that it has received a $10 million anonymous pledge to the university's foundation to expand genetic-based research into cancer.

The gift will be used to support the university's research directed at precision medicine by identifying genetic abnormalities associated with cancer and then making treatment decisions based on that information. The gift is being disbursed during a two-year period and will increase the number of patients that Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey can serve in clinical trials of targeted therapies, the university said. The funds also include support for advanced genomic analyses of cancers within the Clinical Genomics Laboratories of RUCDR Infinite Biologics, a unit of the Rutgers Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey.

Additionally, the gift includes a $1 million endowment to develop a cancer biology curriculum in the department of genetics to support undergraduate education in cancer genetics, and it will fund two new faculty positions in the department, including $1.5 million for the establishment of an endowed chair in genetics. A matching $1.5 million for the chair is being provided from an earlier $27 million challenge grant to establish 18 new endowed chairs at Rutgers.

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Director Robert DiPaola said that the gift creates new approaches for its researchers to analyze tumors by bringing in expertise from across the university, including laboratories that focus on genetic research, as well as clinicians treating patients.

Shridar Ganesan, associate director of translational science at the cancer institute, added that the gift will allow him and his colleagues to put theoretical practices into clinical practice.

"This should allow not only more clinical trials, but better, more effective and more effective trials," he said in a statement. "The capabilities we develop will eventually be integrated into the routine care of our patients."

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