2008 & 2004 Liz Tilberis Grant Recipient – Ernst Lengyel

Ernst Lengyel, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of Chicago; Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology/ Section of Gynecologic Oncology
Understanding the Molecular Biology of Metastasis in Ovarian Cancer

Project Summary

The ability of ovarian cancer cells to metastasize throughout the peritoneal cavity is primarily responsible for the high mortality rate of patients with this disease. Studies that identify the mechanisms which drive ovarian cancer metastases are likely to lead to new and effective therapies. Irregularities with a molecule, called C-Met, have been implicated in the progression and metastasis of a number of different types of cancers, including ovarian. But understanding the role of c-Met in cancer metastasis has been limited by significant differences in the way c-Met functions in humans and in laboratory animals. In order to determine how c-Met promotes the metastasis of ovarian cancer, Dr. Lengyl will use a novel 3-D co-culture model of human stromal and cancer cells. Using this model, he hopes to gain insight into the role of c-Met and the molecules that bind to it in ovarian cancer. Applying this knowledge could lead to novel therapies for patients suffering from ovarian cancer.

Bio

Dr. Lengyel graduated from Ludwig-Maxmilians University in Munich, Germany. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, then a residency at the University of Munich followed by a clinical fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of California/San Francisco (UCSF) and Stanford in the combined fellowship program. After one year on the clinical faculty at UCSF he joined in 2004 the University of Chicago faculty as a research scientist and clinician. His primary clinical focus is the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer especially the use of advanced surgical techniques designed to improve patient outcomes by removing as much tumor as possible. He directs a translational research laboratory focused on understanding ovarian cancer metastasis and on developing and testing new treatments for ovarian cancer.

For more information on Dr. Lengyel’s research at the Unviersity of Chicago see:
http://obgyn.bsd.uchicago.edu/FacultyResearch/lengyellab.htm