OCRF & Ovarian Cancer National Alliance are now one strong, united, inspiring voice!
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) have led the way in advocacy, research and support for patients and their families for over 22 years. As of January 2016, we are pleased to announce we are joining together to form Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA), the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families. Read the exciting news!


2003 Individual Investigator Grant Recipient – Thomas Franke

Thomas Franke, M.D., Ph.D.
Columbia University
Finding Molecules to Stop an Abnormal Signaling Pathway in Ovarian Cancer

Project Summary

The growth and survival of normal cells depends on the signaling molecule, AKT, a serine-threonine protein kinase. In ovarian cancer, however, AKT kinase activity is pathologically increased. Such amplified AKT activity protects tumor cells from cell death that would ordinarily occur after chemotherapy and radiation treatments. To address this dysfunction of AKT signaling in ovarian tumor cells, Dr. Franke aims to design novel therapeutics that can overcome AKT-dependent chemoresistance. The goal is to uncover small-molecule inhibitors that can block excessive and pathologic signaling in the cell that arises after the AKT dysfunction occurs to restore the sensitivity of tumor cells to cancer treatment. Findings may lead to innovative strategies for the treatment of ovarian cancer.


Dr. Franke is now an Associate Professor od Psychiatry and Pharmacology (Research) at New York University Medical Center.