Ovarian Cancer Canada and the Cancer Research Society invest $2.25 million in ovarian cancer research: Funding for 10 new projects just announced

Following a joint competition launched Spring 2021, the Cancer Research Society and Ovarian Cancer Canada are announcing 10 new projects in ovarian cancer research.

Ovarian cancer is the most fatal gynecological cancer in Canada. Each year, 3,100 people in Canada are diagnosed. More than half are not expected to live five years past their diagnosis.

While the competition initially aimed to award 6 grants, the extent and quality of submissions unlocked potential for an additional four. It’s anticipated that selected projects will have a significant impact on outcomes by prolonging survival and enhancing quality of life.

A committee comprised of 13 researchers and 7 women living with ovarian cancer met to evaluate submissions based on extensive criteria. The women with ovarian cancer who participated shared their deep insights and lived experiences with the disease to inform discussions and analysis.


All of us on the review panel were empowered by our experience. We realized the importance of our voices as we communicated our research priorities from a perspective that only comes from a lived experience of ovarian cancer. In this journey, we are not helpless -- we are helpful. This collaboration is proof of that. The 10 selected projects are a source of hope, and a source of pride in affecting change.

Donna Pepin, diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006

Each of the following researchers will receive a $225,000 grant in support of their projects as outlined:
  • Mark Carey, University of British Columbia: Anti-estrogen therapy and ER/PR expression in low-grade serous ovarian carcinoma
  • David Huntsman, BC Cancer, part of the Provincial Health Services Authority: CTH in clear cell ovarian cancer: A targetable legacy of endometriotic origin
  • Marilyne Labrie, University of Sherbrooke: Overcoming resistance to chemotherapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors in ovarian cancer
  • Brad Nelson, BC Cancer, part of the Provincial Health Services Authority: Supercharging CAR-T cells for ovarian cancer using engineered cytokine receptors
  • Michael Olson, Ryerson University: MRCK inhibition for high-grade serous ovarian cancer therapy
  • Trevor Shepherd, University of Western Ontario: Preclinical development of LKB1 inhibitors as a novel approach to impair cytoprotective stress responses implicated in advanced ovarian cancer
  • Huang Sidong, McGill University: Developing optimal treatment combinations for small cell carcinoma of the ovary
  • Peter Stirling, BC Cancer, part of the Provincial Health Services Authority: Next generation DNA repair inhibitors for ovarian cancer treatment
  • Barbara Vanderhyden, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute: Evaluation of fibrinogen-like protein 2 (FGL2) as a critical onco-immune target
  • Franco Vizeacoumar, University of Saskatchewan: Applying synthetic dosage lethality to develop therapeutic strategies for ovarian clear cell carcinoma