The National Cancer Institute recognizes the university’s center for its innovative, paradigm-changing research

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, together with RWJBarnabas Health, has been redesignated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, placing it among the top centers in the country reviewed in 2023.

The designation from the NCI, held by 56 such centers across the nation, is granted competitively to institutions characterized by the highest level of scientific excellence in cancer research and the ability to translate research discoveries into novel treatments. The institute at Rutgers scored in the “exceptional” range, according to the National Cancer Institute.  

In its review of Rutgers Cancer Institute programs, the NCI recognized the institute’s innovative, paradigm-changing research, the impact on the relevant needs of the New Jersey population, notable community outreach, education and engagement efforts and strong integration with its research consortium partner Princeton University.


From From left to right: Jack Morris, chair of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Board of Trustees; Mark E. Manigan, president and CEO, RWJBarnabas Health; Gov. Phil Murphy; Steven K. Libutti, director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, senior vice president, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health; and Jonathan Holloway, president, Rutgers University

The redesignation ensures Rutgers Cancer Institute maintains its Comprehensive Cancer Center status to support the continuation of outstanding world-class research and comprehensive care.

“The redesignation by the NCI reaffirms the value Rutgers Cancer Institute provides to our state through research, treatment, prevention and education, and our commitment to providing integrated, cutting-edge cancer care to those in New Jersey and beyond,” said Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Steven Libutti, who is the senior vice president of oncology services at RWJBarnabas Health. “Our continued dedication to excellence as recognized by the NCI also means that Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJBarnabas Health are well positioned to continue delivering on our mission as we prepare for the opening of the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center in 2025, which will further propel us into the future of cancer discovery and care.”

“For decades, Rutgers Cancer Institute has been a lifeline for those battling the cruel and relentless disease of cancer,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “Through pioneering clinical trials and cutting-edge research, Rutgers Cancer Institute has evolved our understanding of this disease and helped countless families overcome devastating diagnoses. This redesignation is a testament to their work to advance the fight against cancer. I am proud that New Jersey continues to foster innovation, and that we are home to a facility that works every day to improve cancer prevention and care for our residents.”

“Our country depends on the world-class research and treatment scientists are doing right here, which is why I worked hard to ensure Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey was officially redesignated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center,” said U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone. “As the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in New Jersey, Rutgers Cancer Institute is essential to the health of the people of our state and the advancement of cancer research nationally. Thanks to this important redesignation, the institute will receive millions of dollars in federal funding to ensure Rutgers remains a national leader in cancer research and can develop new tools to better prevent, diagnose, and treat this terrible disease. In Congress, I will continue to be a vocal supporter of the federal research funding that is critical to the mission of Rutgers Cancer Institute.”

“This incredible achievement underscores the partnership between RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute and our shared commitment to provide our patients and communities with access to world-class physicians, clinical trials and services that are transforming cancer care in New Jersey,” said Mark E. Manigan, RWJBarnabas Health president and chief executive. “Rutgers Cancer Institute together with RWJBarnabas Health has never been better positioned to impact the field of cancer than it is today.”

“We are exceptionally proud of the NCI’s recognition of Rutgers Cancer Institute, highlighting its scientific leadership, exceptional research capabilities and leading cancer treatment,” added Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom, who leads Rutgers Health and is the Rutgers executive vice president for health affairs. “Rutgers Cancer Institute also serves a critical role in educating and training the next generation of diverse health care providers, and with this redesignation, the institute will continue to advance our research and training missions.”

Aiming to address the cancer burden that impacts New Jersey and beyond, Rutgers Cancer Institute collaborates with Princeton University as part of a research consortium. As a result of this relationship, the Ludwig Princeton Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at Princeton University was established for the study of cancer metabolism and the translation of discoveries into clinical trials and novel therapies for patients. 

“Through Princeton University’s role as a consortium partner with Rutgers Cancer Institute, innovative basic and clinical cancer research discoveries that further our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of cancer are being made every day,” said Peter Schiffer, Princeton University’s dean for research. “Princeton is dedicated to contribute to advancing such critical work.”