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

May 6, 2019

Celgene founder and biotechnology industry veteran Dr. Sol J. Barer named Chair of the Board Directors; renowned biomedical researcher Dr. David S. Perlin named Chief Scientific Officer

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 Institute for Cancer and Infectious Diseases (iCID), where new ways to treat life-threatening infections and cancer at the molecular level are being developed
  • The Institute for Multiple Myeloma (iMM), which will build on the network’s program, one of the world’s largest with more than 2,000 patients on active therapy
  • The Institute for Regenerative Medicine (iRG), where revolutionary therapies will help diseased and damaged tissue heal itself

The iRG is slated to open later this month.