Camden Institutions Partner to Launch Groundbreaking Camden Cancer Research Center


In a significant collaborative effort, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, Cooper University Health Care, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) have launched the Camden Cancer Research Center (CCRC), a partnership to investigate cancer and translate basic cancer science into new treatments. The three organizations have pledged an initial $30 million to start this center.

Scientists in the CCRC will hail from the three organizations and the center will encompass all of Coriell’s cancer research efforts, including eight scientists responsible for $5 million in annual federal research funding currently.

“Cooper University Health Care, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, and the Coriell Institute – all Camden institutions – have long been leaders in science and healthcare in the region. With today's announcement, this new partnership will quickly become a national leader in the world of medicine and research. The Camden Cancer Research Center will accelerate progress on the cancer research front, changing the way cancer is diagnosed and treated in the future and saving lives,” said George E. Norcross III, Chair of the Cooper University Health Care Board of Trustees.

“The scientists in this partnership are uniquely positioned to launch this one-of-a-kind effort. They come from a range of backgrounds and expertise but share a goal: learn as much as possible about the complex ways cancer develops in our body so we can prevent or defeat it with new tools and medicines,” said Jean-Pierre Issa, M.D., Coriell’s President and Chief Executive Officer, who will serve as the inaugural Director for the CCRC. “The foundation of the CCRC offers this group long-term support in their search for new knowledge and their work to translate that knowledge to new treatments.”

“This historic partnership will unite three nationally recognized institutions with a shared vision of developing life-saving cancer treatments. This unique academic and research collaboration between Rowan University, Coriell, and Cooper will leverage the strengths and talents of each institution to unlock cancer research breakthroughs which will save lives in our region and beyond for the years to come,” said Kevin O’Dowd, J.D., Co-CEO of Cooper University Health Care.

“This partnership will strengthen and expand the amount of advanced research our expert team at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, one of the leading cancer centers in the region, can participate in to benefit cancer patients right here in this region and around the world,” said Anthony J. Mazzarelli, M.D., J.D., M.B.E., Co-CEO of Cooper.

“CMSRU is honored to be part of this collaborative effort among Camden institutions,” said Annette C. Reboli, M.D., Dean of CMSRU. “The cancer research supported or performed by the CCRC will lead to breakthroughs that will ultimately benefit patients worldwide.”

The cooperation of Coriell, Cooper University Health Care, and CMSRU allows for unprecedented access for cancer researchers in South Jersey. This center connects scientists conducting basic cancer research with clinical care, allowing for the translation of basic findings into new treatments and improved patient care.

The Camden Cancer Research Center will also expand the resources and capabilities of the three institutions by creating new facilities with state-of-the-art technology to support this research. Among these new resources, a new biobank will be formed to house and distribute biological samples to scientists in the CCRC and other cancer researchers. This biobank will be housed at Coriell, long known around the world for its biobank, and guided by a Biorepository Subcommittee that will review requests for distribution.

The CCRC is led by a Governance Board comprising six leaders from across the partnering organizations. Coriell will be represented by Dr. Issa and Dean Stoios, M.B.A., its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Cooper will be represented by Generosa Grana, M.D., Director of MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, and Roland Schwarting, M.D., Chair of Pathology at Cooper; and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University will be represented by Dean Reboli and Darren Boehning, Ph.D., CMSRU’s Assistant Dean for Research.

This is the second research partnership between these three Camden neighbors. In the fall of 2018, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, Cooper University Health Care, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University launched the Camden Opioid Research Initiative, a collaborative research effort to investigate the genetic and non-genetic factors that affect one’s risk for developing opioid use disorder or response to addiction treatment.

About the Coriell Institute for Medical Research

The Coriell Institute for Medical Research is a globally recognized leader in biobanking and biomedical research. Coriell is home to one of the world's most important biobanks which distributes biological samples and offers research and biobanking services to scientists around the world. Coriell is the trusted steward of world-renowned collections for the National Institutes of Health, disease foundations and commercial clients. Also a leader in genomic and epigenomic research, Coriell is uncovering the ways our genetic makeup affects our health, especially with regard to cancer, aging, and personalized medicine. Coriell leads or participates in several research partnerships, including the Camden Cancer Research Center and the Camden Opioid Research Initiative. For more information, visit, like Coriell on Facebook, or follow @Coriell_Science on Twitter.

About Cooper University Health Care

Cooper University Health Care, with its MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and affiliation with Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, is a leading academic health system. Cooper has more than 9,600 team members including 1,600 nurses, and more than 900 employed physicians and 450 advanced practice providers. Cooper University Hospital has been recognized as a top-performing regional hospital by U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Hospitals annual survey and has an “A” Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit upholding the standard of patient safety in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers.

Cooper has revenues of more than $2 billion and has an “A-“ rating from S&P Global Ratings and “A3” rating from Moody’s Investors Service. Cooper University Hospital is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in South Jersey and the busiest in the region.  Nearly two million patients are served annually at Cooper’s 663-bed flagship hospital, outpatient surgery center, three urgent care centers, and more than 100 ambulatory offices throughout the community. Cooper has been named as one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes for two consecutive years. 

The Cooper Health Sciences campus in Camden, New Jersey, is home to Cooper University Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Visit to learn more.

AboutCooper Medical School of Rowan University

A partnership between Rowan University and The Cooper Health System, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) is the only four-year, M.D.-granting medical school in South Jersey. CMSRU is proudly mission-driven, focused on developing highly skilled and socially conscious physician leaders who value a patient-centered, team approach to health care. Its innovative curriculum provides students with small-group, self-directed learning with early and continuous patient care experiences, beginning the third week of medical school in the Cooper Rowan Clinic. CMSRU was named a “Best Grad School for Medicine-Primary Care 2023-2024” by U.S. News & World Report and was previously listed among the “Top 10 Most Competitive” medical schools for admission. In 2019, CMSRU was the recipient of the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Engagement, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges. 

CMSRU’s parent organization, Rowan University, is a Carnegie-classified national doctoral research institution. It offers bachelor’s through doctoral programs to more than 18,500 students through its campuses in Glassboro, Camden and Stratford, New Jersey. Rowan is collaborating with regional leaders to create research and academic programs in health sciences. It has earned national recognition for innovation, commitment to high-quality, affordable education and developing public-private partnerships.

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