MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) — Atlantic Health System announced today that Mohamad Cherry, MD, MS award-winning physician-researcher with Atlantic Hematology Oncology, part of Atlantic Medical Group, has been promoted to Medical Director, Hematology Oncology for Atlantic Health System Cancer Care and Medical Director, Atlantic Cellular Therapy Program.
Dr. Cherry has been named to these two important new, systemwide positions because of the leadership he has demonstrated in revitalizing the Morristown Medical Center leukemia program, his forward-looking research and clinical care, and the esteem in which he is held by clinicians, staff and patients alike. Both positions encompass all cancers, not just hematologic malignancies.
“Dr. Cherry is a world-class cancer clinician and researcher, and we are fortunate to have him on our team of leading experts,” said Eric Whitman, MD, medical director, Atlantic Health System Cancer Care. “Under his leadership, we will continue to offer to patients in New Jersey and surrounding states the most effective treatments, innovative clinical trials and patient-centered care.”
Dr. Cherry brings extensive experience to his expanded role. Among his many accomplishments since joining Atlantic Health System in 2017 are spearheading the development of the CAR T-cell therapy program and enrolling patients in clinical trials of this revolutionary new immunotherapy. The program’s unprecedented growth under Dr. Cherry’s leadership has resulted in the development of the Atlantic Cellular Therapy program, which will further explore the use of immune effector cell therapies – including CAR-T and tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) – as a way to alter a patient’s own white blood cells to help fight certain cancers. Dr. Cherry’s expertise also led to the approval of a new hematology/oncology fellowship, which he directs.
Dr. Cherry became internationally known while at a major academic medical center. Prior to joining Atlantic Health System, Dr. Cherry held a number of senior appointments including the “Mai Eager Anderson” Endowed Chair in Cancer Clinical Trials. He conducted pioneering research at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center’s Stephenson Cancer Center. There, he performed groundbreaking research, which he has continued at Atlantic Health System Cancer Care. His research in niche areas has included epigenetics—genetic research that turns specific genes “on” or “off”— and in the development of new therapeutics, focusing on blood cancers such as acute leukemias.
Dr. Cherry is currently leading 30 different clinical trials, including studies available at few other locations, thanks to Atlantic Health System’s partnership in the Breakthrough Oncology Accelerator with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) of Phoenix, AZ.
In his new leadership roles, Dr. Cherry will work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team of specialists across Atlantic Health System to ensure patients seeking cancer care receive access to the latest therapeutic treatments and research at all of the system’s adult acute care hospitals.
He will also be instrumental in driving coordinated, high-quality clinical care, and supporting efforts to improve outcomes while reducing variations within care.
“In addition to his many research, clinical and administrative accomplishments, Dr. Cherry’s warm personality and outstanding clinical skills have earned the respect and admiration of fellow physicians, nurses, patients and their families,” said Dr. Whitman. “His dedication to patients and his compassion know no bounds. He is truly a ‘doctor’s doctor’ and advocate for his patients.”
On weekends, Dr. Cherry can often be found on the hospital floors, checking in on his hospitalized patients. He is also active in supporting the needs and fundraising goals of the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Cherry’s generosity extends beyond the walls of the medical center: serving as Atlantic Health System’s team captain for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night annual fundraiser and as a member of the board of directors of the independent Medical Needs Foundation, which provides grants to Morris County patients in financial need.
Dr. Cherry has published a number of books and book chapters and has served as lead author or co-author of more than 30 peer-reviewed papers published in leading scientific journals. He has lectured locally, nationally and internationally, and regularly presents and publishes his research at premier hematology/oncology meetings sponsored by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), among others.
He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research, clinical and educational pursuits, including the Medal of Excellency from the Board of Specialization and Academic Orientation – Lebanese University, Beirut. He is recipient of the Health Care Heroes Award from New Jersey Business magazine.
Dr. Cherry earned his medical degree from Lebanese University, where he was third in his class and performed a “Clinical Pathology” residency at the American University of Beirut. Dr. Cherry also received a Master of Science degree in clinical and translational research from Oklahoma University College of Public Health. He is board-certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology.
In addition to his new system-wide leadership responsibilities, Dr. Cherry continues to serve as a mentor and advisor to fellows, residents and medical students. He contributes to continuing education, public health, and professional development.
Dr. Cherry is based at the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center – Morristown Medical Center campus at 100 Madison Avenue in Morristown, NJ.