Heather Cunliffe, PhD
Translational Genomics Research Institute
Defining the molecular basis of Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary
Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary (SCCO) is a lethal form of ovarian cancer striking young women and girls (average age at diagnosis is 23 years). Dr. Cunliffe hypothesizes that the very early onset and highly aggressive nature of SCCO suggests a consistent underlying genetic lesion, and thus a potential therapeutic vulnerability. The project’s objective is to identify the full spectrum of molecular changes associated with SCCO to define clinically actionable targets. In addition, she proposes to develop preclinical laboratory models of SCCO to enable future studies designed to confirm mechanisms of targeted drug sensitivity, and accelerate translation of discoveries into to clinical practice.