Difference Education Boost Making A The Hematologic Malignan- cies Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey will benefit from a $500,000 endowment from Subha and Jim Barry — longtime supporters of Rutgers Cancer Institute — to fund a research fellowship in blood cancers. “Designed to provide supplemental funds to support novel components of physician and/or scientist training, the Ruth Strair Fellowship Award will allow the recipient new experiences and education in areas that will enhance their skills and further their career development,” notes Roger Strair, MD, PhD, chief of both the Hematologic Malignancies and Blood and Marrow Transplant Programs at Rutgers Cancer Institute and son of Ruth Strair for whom the fellowship is named. Mrs. Strair was treated for lymphoma at the National Institutes of Health in the early 1960s but lost her battle with the disease. Since that time, the doctor notes there have been “amazing advances” in the diagnosis, categorization and treatment of lymphoma. “What was diagnosed as lymphoma as reDA N KO M ODA “Thanks to the generosity of donors, there are now fewer battles that can’t be won. And as we expand the interests, skills and focus of fellowship trainees there will be even faster progress and more successes.” — Roger Strair, MD, PhD “I extend a very special thanks to Subha and Jim Barry for their gracious generosity and leadership in cently as five years ago is often now given a more refined diagnosis. There is now a much better understanding of the biology, how any individual patient’s disease has developed and how it is likely to respond to different treatments,” he shares. “With this information in hand, there are new chemotherapeutic, immunotherapeutic and molecularly targeted therapies which have been developed and are used alone and in combination to greatly improve outcomes in lymphoma therapy. These advances result from the application of new age molecular and immunologic techniques to build upon results of clinical trials of the past. developing this award and many other philanthropic, administrative and patient care initiatives at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey,” offers Dr. Strair, who is also a professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “Subha and Jim understand fully the dynamics of patient care, the nature of the patient experience, the benefit of new age diagnosis and guided treatment, the role of physicians and scientists who ‘translate’ laboratory results into potential therapies, and the role of clinical trials in developing these new therapies. We are grateful for their efforts.” “I am lucky enough to to be a cancer survivor, and Jim and I are fortunate enough to have the financial resources. It is our obligation — actually, our privilege to help the brilliant scientists and clinicians at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey find the cures that will create many more survivors like me,” shares Subha Barry, who is the general manager and vice president of Working Mother Media. Strair adds there is special appreciation for all donors who help move the development of new treatments forward. “Thanks to the generosity of donors, there are now fewer battles that can’t be won. And as we expand the interests, skills and focus of fellowship trainees there will be even faster progress and more successes.” I Snapshot in Time “M y mother Ruth Strair is the first person I knew who participated in a clinical trial. I was informed of the circumstances by an almost chance occurrence in 1989 when a physician I was working with at Yale, Professor John Marsh, mentioned an ‘ancient’ experimental drug that he was testing when he was in fellowship training in 1962. My familiarity with the name of the experimental drug surprised him. One thing led to another and shortly thereafter John realized he had treated my mother 27 years earlier. Later that morning he presented me with a carbon copy of a letter he had written about his patient, my mother, in 1962!” I — Roger Strair, MD, PhD, chief of the Hematologic Malignancies and Blood and Marrow Transplant Programs. A $500,000 award from longtime Rutgers Cancer Institute supporters Subha and Jim Barry helped establish a hematologic malignancies fellowship in the name of Dr. Strair’s mother – Ruth Strair. 28 I Cancer Connection I Autumn 2016