Developing models for prevention of hereditary ovarian cancer

Developing models for prevention of hereditary ovarian cancer

Project details

Women with a predisposition of developing breast cancer also have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. Our goal is to identify the cell of origin of ovarian cancer. This could inform therapeutic targets for treatment and prevention. Understanding the mechanisms within these culprit cells will provide insights into how they could be ’switched off’ to potentially prevent ovarian cancer from developing. 

Using tissue from patients, we have successfully established laboratory models of BRCA1 breast and ovarian cancer. Importantly, we have developed the methodology to separate and group reproductive tissue and cellular assays to analyse the properties of the different populations. This project will involve the use of a wide range of experimental techniques, including cell sorting, pre-clinical models, single-cell technologies and CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.

About our research group

The Visvader/Lindeman laboratory (Cancer Biology and Stem Cells Division) has a strong background in mammary gland biology and translational breast cancer research that has led to clinical trials. Using similar approaches, we have begun to deconvolute ovarian/fallopian tube epithelium (with the Scott Lab). Our group’s contributions to the field include definition of the mammary gland hierarchy (e.g. Nature 2006, 2010, 2014; Nature Cell Biol 2007, 2020; Nature Comms 2016, 2017; Cancer Cell 2019; EMBO J 2021); identification of the cell-of-origin of breast cancer (Nature Medicine 2009, 2016) and establishment of pre-clinical models and clinical trials (Cancer Cell 2013; Cancer Discovery 2019; Clin Cancer Res 2020). We routinely exploit in vivo models (including lineage tracing and patient-derived xenograft models), single cell studies, flow cytometry, high resolution 3D imaging and genomics. 


Email supervisors



Professor Jane Visvader

Jane Visvader
Joint Division Head

Professor Geoff Lindeman

Professor Geoffrey Lindeman in the lab
Joint Division Head

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