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!


2007 Individual Investigator Grant Recipient – Qin Yang

Qin Yang, M.D., Ph.D.
Washington University
BRCA/AKT1 Pathway in Ovarian Cancer

Project Summary

Mutations in the BRCA1 gene account for more than 30 percent of hereditary ovarian cancer and loss of BRCA1 expression has been shown in 30 percent to 60 percent of sporadic [or non-hereditary] ovarian cancers, the more common types of ovarian cancer. As such, it is believed BRCA1 plays a key role in both hereditary and sporadic ovarian cancer development. But why BRCA1-deficiency leads to the development of cancer is not clearly understood. Dr. Yang’s research is focused on understanding the molecular explanation behind BRCA1 deficiency and ovarian cancer. He has found that the absence of BRCA1 leads to the activation of another molecular pathway in the cell called AKT1, which causes the cells to grow uncontrollably. The presence of BRCA1 normally would put the brakes on AKT1. In his project, he will try to further characterize the relationship between BRCA1 and AKT1, findings that should provide insight for both hereditary and sporadic ovarian cancer and targets for drugs that work on these pathways.


Dr. Qin Yang received her B.Sc (with first class honors) in Computer Science at Southwest Jiaotong University (China), in 1989, M.S in Computer Science at Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, in 1992, and Ph.D in Computer Science, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Kowloon, Hong Kong at November of 1999. From 1999 –2000, she was a Research Associate at School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Washington State University. Since November 2000, she joined ICIS, Nanyang Technological University.