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    Dear Colleagues,

    The Chancellor’s office is pleased to announce the inaugural Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) Chancellor Lifetime Achievement Award. This important annual recognition was established to acknowledge the extraordinary, transformative, and significant lifetime contributions of our faculty to their academic profession and to Rutgers University.

    We are proud to announce that Joseph R. Bertino, M.D. is the inaugural and 2021 recipient of the RBHS Chancellor Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor is bestowed posthumously in recognition of Dr. Bertino’s unmatched fundamental contributions to cancer research as a renowned scientist, inspirational mentor, cherished colleague, University Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and former Chief Scientific Officer at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ).

    Dr. Bertino’s passion for improving cancer therapies and furthering cancer research was fostered early in his career by the loss of a family member to leukemia and his experiences with patients while fulfilling his medical training. In the 60+ years since, Dr. Bertino devoted his career to devising and improving treatments for cancer and hematologic disorders – leaving an indelible mark on modern cancer research.

    After joining CINJ in 2002, Dr. Bertino collaborated with top experts to help develop the latest generation of cancer treatments. He had a particular interest in the development of new treatments and in understanding why certain drugs, such as methotrexate, were effective (or ineffective) therapies. A dedicated physician, Dr. Bertino was adept at translating the latest findings into patient therapies and educating his patients about the treatment options available to them.

    In honor of Dr. Bertino’s legacy, the RBHS Chancellor Lifetime Achievement award plaque will be presented to his family, and CINJ has established a named lectureship in his honor – the details of which will be shared via separate communication. Additionally, his remarkable achievements will be honored in a video to be shared with you later this month as part of the celebration that honors the 2021 RBHS Chancellor Awards.

    We will continue soliciting and look forward to nominations from you next year for this newly established award.


    Bishr Omary, MD, PhD

    Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research

    Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences


    Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH

    Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

    Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Rutgers University