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Posted by Target Ovarian Cancer on Tuesday 10 July 2018

Target Ovarian Cancer has committed over £1 million to ovarian cancer research projects across the UK. Our gold-standard research programme funds only the best research, with projects we know are the most important for women with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Meet some of the researchers who are making it happen…

Dr Zahra Faraahi, University of Manchester

Working on: Personalising ovarian cancer treatments by looking at DNA damage response

Dr Faraahi ovarian cancer researcher

“I found my calling as a researcher during my Master’s degree research project. There would be moments in the lab when I learnt something new, and I would think, ‘Right now, I’m the only human that knows this’. It was an incredible feeling.

“I am a postdoctoral researcher, which means that it’s my job to think of novel research ideas and methods, and I work closely with a team of ovarian cancer specialist doctors to make that happen. Ovarian cancer research is really close to my heart because my mother was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer three years ago, and she died in January. She was just 53.

“I’ve never been more motivated to make a diagnosis of ovarian cancer easier for people going through it, like my mother. There are so many new and exciting potential therapies that are worth exploring with the hope of making massive improvements to the lives of women with ovarian cancer.”

Dr Aula Ammar, University of Glasgow

Working on: Developing new treatments for clear cell ovarian cancer

Dr Ammar ovarian cancer researcher

“After I finished my degree in Pharmacy, I did a PhD in Oncology, and realised that my passion was to continue a career in cancer research. Right now that involves examining the effect of blocking a molecule called IL-6, to see if that can be a future treatment for clear cell ovarian cancer.

“Research to find new treatments is really important for me – often women are diagnosed at a late stage and so we need better treatments. In addition, there are several types of ovarian cancer, including clear cell ovarian cancer, which respond differently to the current conventional treatments. We need to understand more about the biology of the disease to identify key molecules like IL-6 that can be used as effective drug targets and help give women the best chance of survival.”

Dr Liz Moore, University of Cambridge 

Working on: Finding new ways to detect ovarian cancer

Dr Moore ovarian cancer researcher

“I have been interested in research since my medical training. My first job after qualifying as a doctor gave me protected time for research and I spent it in Barts Cancer Institute, London. Since then I have combined being a doctor and a researcher, something that I believe really helps women’s experiences as they go through treatment.

“I have seen the devastating effects of late diagnosis in ovarian cancer, and I want to find a way to diagnose it earlier. In the lab I have developed a project to find ovarian cancer circulating tumour DNA through blood tests and cervical smears. I hope that in the end a method like this will help more women get diagnosed earlier.”


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