April 10, 2006
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey contact: Courtney DeNicola
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School contact: Patricia M. Hansen
Local Scientist Selected as One of Twelve
Researchers Worldwide to Receive Prestigious Award
Faculty member at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey to conduct groundbreaking cancer research
New York, N.Y—The Bristol-Myers Squibb Company,recognized as one of today’s leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, and a strong advocate for cancer research, recently named Arnold J. Levine, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Resident Member, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey the recipient of a 2006 Freedom To Discover Unrestricted Biomedical Research Grant Award.
Exploring the frontiers of biomedical science, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Freedom to Discover program supports cutting-edge research in cancer, nutrition, neuroscience, cardiovascular, infectious and metabolic diseases and synthetic organic chemistry. The 12 scientists selected as administrators for the 2006 grants represent the best examples of
leading edge research around the globe and include nine U.S. scientists from Boston, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, La Jolla, Ann Arbor, Durham, NC, and New Brunswick, NJ, and three researchers representing Japan, Germany and Australia.
Dr.Levine's $500,000 over five years grant will help him explore new ground in the fundamentals of cancer biology, focusing on a heritable single nucleotide polymorphism in a protein called MDM2, which may play a critical role in the formation
and growth of cancers.
"We are extremely proud that Dr. Levine has was chosen as one of only twelve scientists worldwide to be selected for this award," states Harold L. Paz, M.D., dean of UNDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "The quality and direction of his
research hold great promise in the fight against cancer."
"The Bristol-Myers Squibb Freedom to Discover program encourages science at its most creative, unrestricted funding, unfettered by commercial relationships, the need to justify any new directions to be taken or other similar constraints on innovation," said John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. "These no-strings-attached grants require only that the best scientists do their best work in order to advance human health. Our hope is that innovative treatments, new scientific understandings and benefits for people everywhere will someday result from these grants."
"It is through new and novel approaches to cancer research such as Dr. Levine's work that we will discover innovative treatments and cures for the disease," stated William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Director, CINJ and Associate Dean for Oncology
Programs and Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Since 1977, the Freedom to Discover Unrestricted Biomedical Research Grants and Awards program, sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, has committed more than $120 million through 289 grants to more than 160
research institutions in 23 countries. The institutions receive a half million dollars each over a five-year period to support the work of leading scientists. These individuals serve as grant administrators and may use the funds to conduct research of their choosing in their scientific field.
As one of the nation's leading comprehensive medical schools, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, with campuses in New Brunswick, Piscataway and Camden, is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education, research, health care
delivery and the promotion of community health for the residents of New Jersey. With 2,500 full-time and volunteer faculty, the medical school maintains educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels for more than 1,500 students, as well as continuing education courses for health care professionals and community
As one of eight schools of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the medical school encompasses 21 basic science and clinical departments and also integrates diverse clinical programs conducted at its 34 hospital affiliates and
numerous ambulatory care sites in the region. UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School also hosts 85 centers and institutes; among them are The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey.
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is the state's first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is dedicated to improving the prevention, detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer. CINJ's physicianscientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice quite literally bringing research to life. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides a mechanism to rapidly disseminate important discoveries into the community. Partner Hospitals: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Atlantic Health System (Morristown Memorial Hospital, Mountainside Hospital, Overlook Hospital). Affiliate Hospitals: Bayshore Community Hospital, CentraState Healthcare System, Cooper University Hospital (CINJ at Cooper)*, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, JFK Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton (CINJ-Hamilton), Saint Peter's University Hospital, Somerset Medical Center, Southern Ocean County Hospital, The University Hospital/UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School*, and University Medical Center at Princeton.