HackensackUMC Physician Dr. Rummana Aslam Receives Innovator Award from the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame for Groundbreaking Work in Wound Care

November 21, 2016


Rummana Aslam, M.D., chief, Division of Wound Care, and medical director of the Center for Advanced Wound Care at HackensackUMC, receives the Innovator Award at the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame dinner on October 27 at the W Hoboken.

Hackensack University Medical Center, a member of Hackensack Meridian Health, is pleased to announce that Rummana Aslam, M.D., chief, Division of Wound Care, and medical director of the Center for Advanced Wound Care at HackensackUMC, received the Innovator Award at the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame (NJIHoF) dinner on October 27. The awards took place at the W Hoboken Hotel, and honored the researchers, physicians and graduate students “… who seek to improve our lives through technology.”

Dr. Aslam was honored for her innovative research in the use of a common household item to heal wounds. Granulated table sugar has been used to treat non-healing infected wounds since ancient times, but has not found a place in modern medicine. Dr. Aslam and her team first did observational trials by using the sugar to treat a variety of chronic wounds and found that sugar accelerated wound healing and treated wound infection without any side effects. She then created a wound gel using sugar as the main ingredient, which could standardize the way sugar was applied to wounds. The rate of healing using sugar was higher as compared to standard treatment, and the difference was statistically significant. Wound infection was noted to improve as compared to standard care.

“With an estimated $50 billion spent on chronic wound treatment in the U.S., many patients are under financial strain to properly heal their wounds through current methods, including expensive topical products and antibiotics,” says Dr. Aslam. “I wanted to focus on a treatment that is not only cost-effective – but has proven to accelerate wound healing, sometimes faster than more expensive options. Sugar is cost-effective, safe and readily-available worldwide.”

Dr. Aslam’s team is now conducting a Phase 1 clinical trial at HackensackUMC with use of the sugar compound to evaluate its efficacy and safety, and to discover the maximum tolerated dose for safe use in chronic wounds.

“I congratulate Dr. Aslam for being recognized as a pioneer in medicine,” said Andrew Pecora, M.D., president of Physician Services and Chief Innovation Officer at Hackensack Meridian Health. “Across Hackensack Meridian Health, our team is committed to discovering and researching the treatment methods of tomorrow. I’m proud to work alongside colleagues with such dedication to thinking outside-of-the-box to offer new treatment methods.”

Dr. Aslam was nominated for the Innovator Award by Anthony delCampo, vice president of the Office of Commercialization and Technology Ventures at HackensackUMC. He notes, “Dr. Aslam’s research may not only benefit our Hackensack Meridian Health patients, but could have a global benefit, as sugar is readily-available in developing nations where modern-day treatment such as antibiotics may not be accessible.”

The NJIHoF, established in 1987, is led by a Board of Trustees and committees to promote the role of invention in the state’s development, and the role of inventors in improving society and changing lives. Since its inception, the NJIHoF has awarded more than 470 individuals and corporations. To qualify for an award, an inventor must have lived in the state during the period of his or her inventive project, or worked for a company in the state that sponsored the work.  Candidates are ranked on several measures, the most of important of which is how well the invention or its patent can be commercialized or used, as well as the significance of its impact on society.

Dr. Aslam joined HackensackUMC in 2012, and led the development of the Center for Advanced Wound Care, a state-of-the-art fully integrated outpatient department that provides multidisciplinary care and treatment of persons with chronic wounds and conditions. The facility, located at HackensackUMC’s main campus, maintains four treatment rooms and three hyperbaric oxygen chambers. Dr. Aslam is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Wound Medicine and Surgery. She serves on numerous professional societies, has been published widely, and is a sought-after national and international speaker.

For more information, visit: www.hackensackumc.org/our-services/specialized-centers/center-for-advanced-wound-care.

Rummana Aslam, M.D., chief, Division of Wound Care, and medical director of the Center for Advanced Wound Care at HackensackUMC, receives the Innovator Award at the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame dinner on October 27 at the W Hoboken.

About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a 775-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is a member of Hackensack Meridian Health, one of the largest networks in the state comprised of 28,000 team members and more than 6,000 physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s2016-17 Best Hospital rankings – maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. HackensackUMC is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 25 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.