What We Fund

Because it is impossible to predict where the next breakthrough in ovarian cancer research will come from, OCRF funds many different areas of ovarian cancer research.  The type of research study conducted is determined by the question to be answered.

Basic Science.  Questions about disease at the cellular and molecular level, such as why cancer cells behave the way they do, are answered through “basic science” research.  Basic science research is not done in people; it is done in laboratories with experiments involving things like tissue samples, cells, or animal models, rather than human subjects.

Translational Research.  Translational research takes the findings of basic science research and “translates” them into practical medical advances that help people.

Clinical Research.  Questions about how or if a treatment works, including specific drugs or devices, or perhaps if a screening test is effective, are answered through “clinical research.”  Clinical research is based on the findings of basic science research, and involves people.  It often includes clinical trials, which are studies where people volunteer to participate in tests for new drugs, therapies, screening methods or devices. The results of clinical research can be applied to ensure that patients are receiving the best possible care.

OCRF researchers are conducting all types of research, including:

  • Developing innovative strategies for early detection
  • Discovering genetic polymorphisms that increase risk for ovarian cancer
  • Understanding the underlying genetics and molecular biology of ovarian cancer
  • Identifying new, better targets for treatment
  • Determining how to super-charge a woman’s immune response to better fight ovarian cancer
  • Deciphering how and why ovarian cancer spreads, and how to stop it

We fund scientists at every stage of their careers.  The Ann Schreiber Mentored Investigator Award is for recent grads, just starting out in the field; the Liz Tilberis Early Career Award is for newly interdependent researchers building their own laboratories; and the Program Project Development Grant is for teams of senior researchers working together on large projects. Click here to meet our researchers.