Yang Yang-Hartwich, PhD
2015 Cookie Laughlin Bridge Funding Award
Targeting p53-regulated Twist1 Degradation to Inhibit Ovarian Cancer Metastasis
Metastasis is a hallmark of advanced high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma. Turning off the ability of ovarian cancer to spread or metastasize to other places in the body would provide better therapies and prevent recurrence. The objective of Dr. Yang-Hartwich’s study is to better understand and inhibit the progression of metastasis. The proposed study focuses on a protein called Twist1 that turns on a biological process called epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). Ovarian cancer cells that undergo the EMT process can gain the ability to leave the primary tumor, travel with the fluid in the abdomen, and invade other organs to form metastases. Dr. Yang-Hartwich’s research will attempt to target and degrade Twist1 using a nanoparticle drug delivery system in order to inhibit the EMT process and thereby preventing metastasis of cancer cells from the ovaries to other organs in the body.