Manish Patankar, PhD
University of Wisconsin
2016 Lynda’s Fund Bridge Award
Identifying ovarian cancer biomarkers though lineage specific assessment of immune cell transcriptome
Several decades of work have focused on the liquid portion of blood samples in order to identify biomarkers for early detection of ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, no biomarkers yet identified have proved useful for revolutionizing early detection. Dr. Patankar’s study will instead focus on the white blood cells in circulating blood as they are the sentinels of the immune system that constantly survey the body for the presence of abnormal cells, including cancer cells. The molecules that white blood cells produce to signal and activate other components of the immune system will be exploited as early detection signals. The immune system is typically very robust and effective at eliminating cancerous cells. However, Dr. Patankar will hone in on breakdowns in the signaling process of the immune system which can lead to cancer cell growth instead of cancer cell eradication.