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Hackensack Meridian Health Announces Leadership at New Center for Discovery and Innovation

Posted: 7th May 2019 09:24

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey's largest and most comprehensive and integrated health network, announced the appointments of Sol J. Barer, Ph.D., as chair of the Board of Directors and David S. Perlin, Ph.D., as chief scientific officer at the Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI). These world-renowned biomedical veterans will advance the mission of the CDI, which seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer and other life-threatening and disabling conditions.  The CDI, housed in a newly renovated state-of-the-art facility that formerly was home to the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, offers world-class researchers a support infrastructure and culture of discovery that promotes science innovation and translation to the clinic.

"The Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation is bringing together the greatest minds in science and medicine to make significant breakthroughs in cancer, infectious diseases and regenerative medicine research,'' said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. "With Dr. Barer as chair of the Board of Directors and Dr. Perlin as chief scientific officer, CDI will continue to push the boundaries of medicine forward."

Dr. Barer was named chair of the Board of Directors for CDI. He is a biotechnology industry veteran, and the founder and former chairman, president, COO and CEO of Celgene Corporation. He serves as chair of the Board of Directors of Teva Pharmaceuticals. He is also managing partner at SJ Barer Consulting and advisor to the Israel Biotech Fund. In addition, Dr. Barer serves as board chair of Aevi Genomics and Centrexion Therapeutics, as well as on the Board of Directors of Contrafect as lead director.

"The Center for Discovery and Innovation encourages critical advances in medicine by bringing together today's best and brightest to enhance patient outcomes," said Dr. Barer. "As chair of the Board of Directors, I look forward to transforming biomedical research by empowering innovation."

Dr. Perlin is the founding chief scientific officer and senior vice president at CDI. He is a highly accomplished biomedical researcher and administrator, and widely recognized as a global leader in antifungal drug resistance, molecular diagnostics and drug discovery. Dr. Perlin is the former executive director of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School's Public Health Research Institute (PHRI) and former director of the Rutgers Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, one of 13 National Institutes of Health (NIH)-designated national centers for pathogen research.

"This is an incredible time to be in the field of science, where diseases that were once considered untreatable are now curable," said Dr. Perlin. "The Center for Discovery and Innovation is accelerating the timeline from discovery to treatment. In my role as chief scientific officer, I am excited to work with top researchers in the field to develop innovative therapies to treat some of the world's most difficult diseases."

CDI offers leading scientists and researchers an opportunity to advance their work and enable Hackensack Meridian Health and its hospitals to better serve their communities. Research innovation developed at CDI will lead to the development of opportunities for out-licensing and commercial partnerships. The goal of CDI is to encourage the development of intellectual property with the intent of developing downstream products or technologies that will improve patient care.

"The Center for Discovery and Innovation is leading the way in research and innovation," said Andrew Pecora, M.D., president, Physician Services and chief innovation officer at Hackensack Meridian Health. "Dr. Barer and Dr. Perlin are two of the most influential medical minds of our time, and through their visionary leadership we will transform patient care through groundbreaking research and clinical expertise."

CDI is an academic-based entrepreneurial center that harnesses innovation from a new renaissance in biomedical sciences to restore patient health. CDI is comprised of three specialty areas:

The iRG is slated to open later this month.


Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children's hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 34,100 team members, and 6,500 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network's notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker's Healthcare's "150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2018" list.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

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