The Hackensack Meridian Health Research Institute   

The Hackensack Meridian Health Research Institute

By the Numbers Info Graphic

Blonde woman in the lab with blue glove Child, Mom and Doctor

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive health network, was created in July 2016, when the Hackensack University Health Network merged with Meridian Health. The extensive breadth of services enables the network to reach two-thirds of New Jersey residents and incorporates community hospitals with extensive reach into neighborhoods across the Garden State.

Research is a key component to providing the best treatment options for patients. HMH has gained national recognition for its involvement in clinical trials, and novel research programs, as the hospitals rank among the best in New Jersey - and beyond.

Currently, there are over 1000 active trials and over 600 open clinical trials across the network. The John Theurer Cancer Center has an especially active clinical trial portfolio and is among the few NCI-designated institutions in the country.  The Center for Discovery and Innovation was founded in 2019 with world-class scientists from institutions across the country, with special focus on infectious diseases and a wide variety of cancers. The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine admitted its first students in 2018, and has grown to complement the research programs with promising talent among students.

The HMH Research Institute is bringing all its many disciplines together to focus on one thing: the patient, and their health. Let us leverage our strength for your wellness.

Girl In Lab Looking thru a MicroscopeJohn Theurer Cancer Center (JTCC) has continued to grow its footprint in clinical and translational science in cancer as illustrated by the following:

  • The largest and best* program in NJ – with over 50 medical oncologists at JTCC alone, plus affiliates and partners across HMH network. (* - US News & World Report recognizes Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center as the best cancer center in New Jersey for 2020-21)
  • Highly subspecialized cancer care integrating genomics (DNA and RNA signature) to support risk stratification and precision medicine at scale.
  • Pioneering immunotherapies, particularly CAR T cells – including the 1st presence in NJ since the mid 2000’s. Involved in approval of most CAR T cell therapies at this point and with ongoing studies on next generation CART cells in both heme and solid tumors.
  • Globally known hematological malignancies program with one of the largest bone marrow transplant (BMT) programs nationwide with close to 500 procedures this year.
  • Strong clinical science in drug development with a large robust team focusing on adult oncology research – thus offering broad access to novel options to cancer patients including a phase I unit and 1st in humans’ program.
  • Well over 700 papers in the last 5 years including NEJM, Nature Medicine, Science, Blood and Journal of Clinical Oncology.
  • Created an outcome division to focus on data analytics in order to help answer the 2 most pressing questions in cancer: what’s the best option for each patient at any given time and what’s the best sequence of care – given the increasing complexity of cancer care.
  • Close collaboration with scientists at the Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI) on several key topics in cancer:
    • Next steps in immunotherapy for overcoming immunoresistance – particularly looking at the role of microbiome and better understanding T cell biology
    • Drug resistance in immunocompromised patients
    • Epigenetics regulation in cancer in particular myeloma and lymphoma
    • Early detection through exosomes and next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS).
    • Reduce the toxicity of chemotherapy through cell therapy and bone marrow function modulation through endothelial cells support.


The Heart and Vascular Hospital and Institute (HVI) provides both world-class cardiovascular care and access to the most advanced, cutting-edge research studies of innovative treatment and technologies.

  • HVI is presently conducting more than 100 clinical research studies in the areas of shock, coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, arrhythmias, structural heart disease, heart failure, cardiac surgery and heart disease in COVID-19.  
  • Our faculty have published more than 1,000 papers in the past several years in highly prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and Circulation.  
  • Cutting-edge studies are being conducted in mechanical unloading techniques for acute heart attacks (DTU Study), new valves in structural heart disease (Tendyne Mitral Valve), innovative methods to treat scar from heart attacks (Ancora Device), use of a new temporary ventricular assist device (Impella 5.5), an early diagnostic test for septic shock (MDW Beckman), and optimal management of COVID-19 patients with heart disease (multiple abstract presentations).


Doctor in AI GogglesThe physician-scientists in the Departments of Neurology & Neurosurgery at Hackensack Meridian Health and Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine make it a priority to offer the most up-to-date care and clinical trials to thousands of patients across the state’s largest and most comprehensive health network.

Man in lab gearThe Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), founded in 2019, brings world-class research scientists into the fold of the state’s largest and most comprehensive health network.

  • The CDI currently has more than 155 scientists and support personnel, and is supported by more than $165 million in research commitments.
  • These faculty members have amassed more than 1,700 peer-reviewed publications over their careers, including those in prestigious publications such as Science, Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine, mBio, and The Lancet, among others. 
  • More than two dozen primary investigators are experts in cancer, infectious disease, T-cell biology, epigenetics, cancer prevention and control, and other disciplines.
  • Scientists are pushing the envelope in disciplines including: cancer, infectious diseases including COVID-19, diabetes and other acute and chronic diseases emphasizing studies of genomics, epigenetics, stem cell biology, T cell biology, immunotherapy, drug discovery, pharmacology, drug resistance, diagnostic and biomarker development, microbiome and immune profiling.


The HMH JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute is named among the Top 30 Rehabilitation Hospitals in the Country by US News and World Report. Since 1974 the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute has been serving patients in the Tri-State Area helping people rebuild their lives after a serious illness or injury by delivering comprehensive rehabilitation services based on cutting edge treatment techniques, innovative research and excellent, personalized medical care.

  • The JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute is among just 16 sites to be designated as a Traumatic Brain Injury Model System site (TBIMS) by the US Department of Health and Human services, a designation that includes a $2.1 million grant to conduct brain injury research over a five year period. Our Institute has received this prestigious grant for three cycles. Awardees are institutes that are national leaders in brain injury care and research.
  • The Institute is the only site in the world conducting research involving Stroke HEART Trials, which are demonstrating how cardiac rehabilitation modified for stroke patients can significantly reduce death rates, reduce readmissions, and improve cardiovascular performance. Included in the program are medically monitored interval cardiovascular training,psychological, nutritional and educational support, risk factor management, and traditional physical, occupational and speech therapy. Multiple papers have been published on this program in addition to a series of national and International presentations, including presenting at the CMS Innovation Center.
  • The Institute publishes the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Board Review Book, which is currently in its fourth edition and is a best-selling textbook in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. The Editor-in-Chief and many of the faculty of the Hackensack Meridian School Of Medicine are authors of this nationally and Internationally best-selling textbook.
  • Researchers at the Institute are engaged in exciting research involving phrenic nerve pacemaker implantations and has resulted in the advancement of phrenic nerve grafting and the removal of ventilator dependence for many patients
  • Multiple other research Initiatives include studies on Parkinson’s disease, COVID-19 and the acute and long issues surrounding it, cancer rehabilitation, musculoskeletal medicine, back pain, and more.


School of Medicine Students

  • Launched Research Pilot Project Funding Program in collaboration with HMH’s Research Administration and Foundation offices. Second year of support for new projects secured in 2021.
  • Extracurricular research occurring in nearly all HMSOM Departments; more than 60 projects recorded as completed and more than 70 approved/ongoing.
  • Students conducting credit-bearing research at the Center for Discovery and Innovation, the John Theurer Cancer Center, and across the HMH network.
  • HMSOM faculty published nearly 800 articles in peer-reviewed research journals in 2020.
  • HMSOM students co-authored over 60 published articles in peer reviewed journals to date.


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