September 1, 2021:

This month, the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium features our member institution Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Coral Omene, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at Rutgers Cancer Institute and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Research Interests and Expertise:

Dr. Omene is a medical oncologist with a passion for women’s health who is dedicated to the care of treating and managing a diverse pool of breast cancer patients. She has devoted much of her research toward translating novel laboratory observations into discoveries to better care for breast cancer patients, with a particular focus on triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), which is known to be among the most aggressive breast cancers, with a poor prognosis, especially among African American women.

In recent years, Dr. Omene worked on an NIH K08 research project aimed at modifying the risk for developing TNBC using a natural compound derivative in a TNBC mouse model. This research has the potential to be readily translatable as chemoprevention in the clinical setting for TNBC patients and populations at high risk.

Currently, she is investigating potential molecular mechanism(s) by which biology and modifiable factors such as obesity, which is prevalent in African American women, interconnect to result in TNBC development and worse outcomes resulting in cancer disparities in African American women. Her goal is to develop interventional strategies, including clinical trials, that will help close the disparity gaps that exist in breast cancer treatment.

Dr. Omene is an active participant in clinical trials which are an essential mechanism in improving cancer care with newer and more effective treatments, including participation in the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium’s Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Working Group. She is the site Principal Investigator for multiple clinical trials including an investigator-initiated (PI: Nancy Chan)  trial using Pembrolizumab and Fulvestrant in ER positive metastatic breast cancer which is run through the Big Ten CRC.

Educational Background:

  • Medical School/Doctorate: Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons
  • Residency: New York Presbyterian- Columbia
  • Fellowship: New York University School of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center

Three facts about Dr. Omene:

  • She loves to travel and has been to many countries.
  • In her spare time, Dr. Omene loves to read political and spy thrillers.
  • Until she was a teenager, she grew up being called a completely different name than her legally given name.


About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit