Omar Boraie Pledges $1.5 Million in Support of His Rutgers Cancer Institute’s Chair in Genomic Science

In a report by Patch, the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey established the Omar Boraie Chair in Genomic Science to boost groundbreaking research in precision medicine targeted at finding treatment for different types of cancers. An endowed chair is widely considered a higher education gold standard and expresses a university’s commitment to developing academic disciplines. The University helps ensure continued support and research progression.

The new chair is named for prominent New Brunswick entrepreneur and real estate developer Omar Boraie. Boraie is the owner and CEO of Boraie Development. He has pledged to donate $1.5 million in support of the chair. The endowment chair is part of Rutgers State University’s campaign dubbed “18 Chair Challenge.” In the campaign, an anonymous donor provides a $1.5 million cheque that matches the other 18 new chairs each resulting in an endowment of $3 million.

Genomic science is changing how researchers and medical professionals approach, diagnose, and treat cancers. Though relatively new, it promises significant advancements in research and development by genetically analyzing tumors and providing treatment. Therefore, oncologists can better prescribe individualized and efficient therapies. The field further received its biggest boost when President Barrack Obama included it in his State of the Union Address. He announced that the federal government would launch a nationwide Precision Medicine Initiative, which will focus solely on curing diseases like cancer.

Rutgers Pioneers Gene Sequencing Research

Rutgers Cancer Institute pioneered the use of gene sequencing in its precision medicine research to come up with quality health care products. Genomic sequencing has already allowed researchers find novel therapies for patients diagnosed with rare cancers, those with poor prognoses, or those with limited treatment options. Furthermore, precision medicine advances allow the classification of cancers into subpopulations that have similar features but different genetics to determine individualized therapies and predict patient outcomes.

What the Stakeholders Said

Omar Boraie was happy with the work done by Rutgers Cancer Institute and was hopeful that, eventually, the research would be applied to all cancer patients. He was optimistic that his family’s support of the new endowment chair would encourage other donors to step forward and support the “18 Chair Challenge.”

Robert S. DiPaola, Rutgers Cancer Institute’s Director, said that Omar Boraie had been a key figure in the efforts to make New Brunswick a designated “Healthcare City.” He added that the institute was grateful for his generosity.

Sheridan Ganesan, an MD and PH.D., was named to Omar Boraie’s Chair. Ganesan is an associate director in the translational science department and a principal investigator in its clinical trials.

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