• Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
Image by Luis Melendez

Research Grants

Thanks to our most ardent supporters and donors, HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation is committed to awarding annual grants in partnership with leading organizations and universities.  These grants are awarded to scientists with “outside the box” ideas regarding the investigation of new directions in basic research, treatment, early detection, and prevention of ovarian cancer.

Sukh Makhnoon headshot_edited.jpg

SUKH Makhnoon, PHD, MS

2020

Recipient of the Denise Zackman grant, she is a postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Prevention Research Training Program at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Makhnoon's focus is on genetic testing of ovarian cancer. Her project aims to alleviate disparities involving uncertain genetic results in diverse patient populations at multiple hospitals and health systems across the US. Uncertain genetic results are detected at disproportionately higher rates in tests performed in ethnic minorities. Another goal of Dr. Makhnoon's is to improve communications between health care providers (gynecologic oncologists and genetic counselors) and patients of ethnic minorities to reduce these disparities. Her findings will contribute to the much-needed practice guidelines around these issues.

WonJae Lee headshot_edited.jpg

2020

WonJae Lee, PHD

Recipient of the Susan von Salis grant, the ultimate goal of Dr. Lee’s postdoctoral fellowship at the MD Anderson Cancer Center is to discover more effective therapies for ovarian cancer. Dr. Lee’s research focuses on identifying why this deadly cancer preferentially spreads to the omentum, a fat tissue connected to the stomach. Dr. Lee and colleagues recently discovered that inflammatory cells acting as first responders to infection and cancer mobilize into the omentum prior to metastasis. Using this information, he will study and evaluate whether known anti-inflammatory drugs could be repurposed for stopping metastasis to the omentum. Dr. Lee’s work could potentially accelerate the development of new ovarian cancer therapies in a timely and cost‐effective manner.

cdc-IFpQtennlj8-unsplash.jpg
Doctor Using Digital Tablet
Lyndsey Crump.headshot.jpg

2021

Lyndsey Crump, PHD

A post-doctoral fellow at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is the recipient of our most recent grant for her work targeting TDO2/KYN-mediated activation of an immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment in ovarian cancer. The ability of ovarian cancer cells to avoid detection by a woman’s natural immune system significantly increases the morbidity of the disease, and recent immune-based therapeutic options have proven to be ineffective against ovarian tumors. She found that inflammation (an immune response) causes ovarian cancer cells to alter their metabolism, suppressing the body’s ability to recognize and fight the cancer. A specific protein found in the tumor cells, Tryptophan 2,3-Dioxygenase (TDO2,) increases the abundance of an oncometabolite, a metabolic byproduct that suppresses the effectiveness of the immune response. By using newly developed drugs that interfere with the activity of this particular enzyme, she hopes to improve the immune system function to recognize and destroy tumor cells. This work will determine which immune cells are affected by TDO2 inhibition, and how they can be re-programmed to attack ovarian cancer cells.

Of the scientific researchers HERA has funded since 2002, 86% of them have remained in the field of ovarian cancer.
Retaining these researchers is critical to advancing ovarian cancer research.

help continue the research

Image by Andisheh A
Fund Critical Research: donate as an individual or corporation in any amount to support life-saving ovarian cancer research. $1000 gives you sponsorship status on our website! 
Brindar siempre lo mejor de ti_edited.jp
Remembering a loved one? Make a gift in memory. Make a gift of any amount in their honor. Individuals or companies may donate.
Packages  _edited.jpg
Avid Amazon shopper? Adopt us on Amazon Smile and most purchases will send us a 5% donation!

Sponsors

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom