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 Liz Tilberis Grant Recipient – Sanaz Memarzadeh

Sanaz Memarzadeh, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Understanding the Role of Cellular Communication in Ovarian Cancer

Project Summary

What happens when cellular communication goes awry between ovarian connective tissue, or stroma, and epithelial tissue in ovarian cancer is the subject of Dr. Memarzadeh’s research. Cross-talk between different tissues in organs has been shown to occur in the initiation and progression of other tumors. The release of chemicals that cause growth, or so-called growth factors, by both stroma and the epithelium is believed to be the method of the cellular communication. In her study, Dr. Memarzadeh will test the role of specific growth factors, FGF 10, EGF and HGF, in the initiation and progression of epithelial ovarian cancer and their interaction with other molecules that may play a role in the disease process. The findings could provide significant insight into the progression of epithelial cancer and may identify a stromal growth factor pathway as a potential therapeutic target.


Dr. Sanaz Memarzadeh is a board certified gynecologic oncologist. She specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all gynecologic pre-invasive and invasive diseases. She has completed her residency at the UCLA medical Center. After the conclusion of her formal residency, she completed a three year fellowship training in gynecologic oncology at the UCLA Medical Center. This fellowship is designed to meet the subspecialty requirements of the Gynecologic Oncology Division of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and functions in concert with the Gynecologic Oncology Divisions at Cedars-Sinai and Kaiser Permanente. This fellowship has provided her with advanced surgical training for treatment of gynecologic cancers in addition to training in administration of chemotherapy and care for cancer patients.

Following her fellowship, Dr. Memarzadeh completed a Ph.D. in the department of Molecular Biology at UCLA. Dr. Memarzadeh performs basic science research at UCLA focusing on molecular pathways that lead to the development of gynecologic cancers. She has won multiple awards including the Reproductive Scientist Developmental Grant, the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation Grant and a Gynecologic Cancer Foundation award. Dr. Memarzadeh has authored many published articles in respected journals and textbook chapters.