HERA Announces 2012 OSB Grant Recipients

May 22, 2012

Johns Hopkins Researchers Pursue New Directions in Ovarian Cancer Detection and Treatment

DENVER – May 22, 2012The HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation, a nationally-recognized ovarian cancer nonprofit, awarded its 2012 OSB1 (Outside the Box) Grants to four researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Ravi Anchoori, Ph.D., Elisabetta Kuhn, M.D., Leonel Maldonado, M.D., and Ana Isabel Tergas, M.D., MPH, received a total of $70,000 in grant funding from HERA to pursue “outside-the-box” ideas and research new directions in the treatment, early detection and prevention of ovarian cancer.

“Through the OSB Grants, we aim to provide fertile ground for scientists to grow new ideas and take their innovative research ‘from the bench to the bedside,’ and eventually to market,” said Meg Steitz, HERA’s executive director. “Our goal is to nurture these ideas and talent so they can uncover new treatment, detection and prevention methods for ovarian cancer, with the ultimate goal of stopping the loss of women to this serious disease.Today, there is no effective test to diagnose ovarian cancer early when the chances of survival are greatest. Current treatments, including chemotherapy, have not significantly changed ovarian cancer survival rates. HERA’s priority is to better understand this disease so that the medical community can develop a test for early detection and more effective treatments. Because there are not a substantial number of healthy survivors to raise awareness for ovarian cancer, research is grossly under-funded. HERA is working to change this reality through the OSB1 Grants, national advocacy efforts and programs to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms in unique and novel ways.  

The 2012 OSB1 Grant recipients and their work includes:

  • Ravi Anchoori, a research associate in the department of oncology, who will study ovarian cancer inhibitors;
  • Elisabetta Kuhn, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of pathology, who will research ovarian cancer precursors and progression;
  • Leonel Maldonado, postdoctoral fellow in the department of gynecology and obstetrics, who will research treatment responsiveness; and,
  • Ana Isabel Tergas, a postdoctoral clinical fellow in the division of gynecologic oncology, who will explore barriers to healthcare faced by a diverse group of ovarian cancer patients at Johns Hopkins.

Applications for the OSB1 grants are by invitation only and are reviewed by HERA’s Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of senior scientists and clinicians who consider relevance to ovarian cancer, innovation of approach, feasibility/methodology, the candidate’s experience and qualifications, and the proposed research environment when selecting which projects to fund. For more detailed information about the OSB1 grant recipients and their research, visit:  www.herafoundation.org/grants-research/science-grants/current-investigators/.

About the HERA Foundation:

Established in 2002, the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to stop the loss of women from ovarian cancer by promoting Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness. As a nationally recognized ovarian cancer organization, HERA provides funding for cutting-edge research grants to scientists at respected medical institutions. In so doing, HERA attracts more young researchers to expand the scientific understanding of ovarian cancer while improving the lives of those battling the disease. In addition, HERA awards grants to local community groups to raise awareness about the disease in novel and unusual ways. More information is available at www.herafoundation.org.

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