Ovarian cancer remains a deadly disease because of mostly advanced-stage diagnosis, echoing the label “silent killer.” Our inability for the early detection is a direct result of lacking the basic knowledge underlying the early mechanisms of this cancer, especially for high-grade serous ovarian cancer -- also known as high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) -- the most common and deadliest ovarian cancer. We have developed mouse models for human HGSC. Originating in the fallopian tube or the ovary, these animal models remarkably duplicate the clinical spectrum of metastatic human HGSC.
Harnessing these mouse models, our laboratory focuses on learning the pivotal mechanisms of HGSC: the cell of origin, initiation, and early progression of the cancer. The initial focus of the research is understanding: (1) the cell of origin of HGSC, using lineage tracing in mice, (2) the role of ovary in the development of HGSC, with mouse models and cell lines, (3) the role of DICER or microRNAs in HGSC, and (4) the early genetic and molecular changes driving HGSC, using genomic and genetic approaches. Not only will this basic biology be important for detecting this devastating cancer early, but it will also be critical for finding more effective treatment for advanced cancer as well as designing proper prevention strategies.
Post-doctoral Fellowship - Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 2014
Ph.D. - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2008
D.V.M. - Chonnam National University, South Korea 1993