January 31, 2014 -- The Valley Hospital is pleased to announce the naming of noted surgeon Ganepola A. Ganepola, M.D., as Medical Director of Research for its newly centralized research department. The department has recently been named the Okonite Research Center, thanks to a generous donation from The Okonite Company of Ramsey and its Chairman and CEO, Victor A. Viggiano. The Center focuses on developing innovative treatments and therapies to enhance the care of patients undergoing treatment for cancer, heart disease and neurological disorders.
In his new role, Dr. Ganepola, who has been a member of Valley’s Medical Staff since 1977, will be responsible for guiding Valley’s scientific research efforts and establishing and maintaining standards for scientific excellence, responsible conduct of research, research productivity, major research-related investments and resource allocation.
“Dr. Ganepola will lead Valley’s efforts to build a world-class research program dedicated to advancing medicine and discovering novel medical and surgical approaches to diagnosing and treating heart disease and cancer,” said Audrey Meyers, president and CEO of The Valley Hospital and Valley Health System, “Under his leadership, our continued dedication to research will ultimately advance our already high-quality patient care, offer our patients and their families as yet unheard of treatments and services, and ensure our continued success as a healthcare system of choice for decades to come.”
For the past ten years, Dr. Ganepola has been dedicated to research in Cancer Genomics, making important contributions to understanding Genomic Medicine. He has authored more than 25 peer reviewed articles and presented at international conferences, discussing and sharing his research findings with colleagues around the world. Recently, he, along with Anusak Yiengpruksawan, M.D., Valley’s Director of Robotic Surgery, published a groundbreaking paper in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology. The paper documented the success of their work using an identified panel of three microRNA biomarkers as a potential diagnostic tool for early stage pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Ganepola will retain his role as Director of Valley’s Center for Cancer Research and Genomic Medicine, which, along with Valley’s biorepository will move to Valley’s Okonite Medical Research Laboratories and Research Center at the Bolger Medical Arts Building in Paramus. The eventual co-location of Valley’s Okonite Research Center, the Center for Cancer Research and Genomic Medicine, oncology and cardiac research laboratories and the biorepository will allow doctors streamlined access to each other and the vital tissue and specimens that are the foundation of their work.