HERA Announces 2013 OSB Grant Recipients

July 3, 2013

Johns Hopkins Researchers Investigate New Directions in Ovarian Cancer Origins and Treatment

DENVER – July 2, 2013The HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation, a nationally recognized ovarian cancer nonprofit, awarded its 2013 OSB (Outside the Box) Grants to two researchers at Johns Hopkins University. HERA awarded Nemanja Rodic, MD, PhD, and Yu Yu, PhD, a total of $30,000 in grant funding to pursue “outside-the-box” ideas and study new directions in the origins and treatment of ovarian cancer, which ranks fifth as the cause of cancer deaths in women and accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.

“HERA’s mission is to stop the loss of women from ovarian cancer,” said Meg Steitz, HERA’s executive director. “We hope to achieve this through funding cutting-edge research to find new directions in detection, treatment and prevention of the disease. The OSB Grants exist to cultivate new ideas and thinking. As it stands, there is no effective test to diagnose ovarian cancer early when chances of survival are greatest, and treatment protocols have not significantly improved survival. We must nurture new, outside-the-box ideas for outcomes to change.”

HERA’s priority is to better understand ovarian cancer so 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 OSB Grants, national advocacy efforts, and programs to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms in unique and novel ways.

The 2013 OSB Grant recipients and their work includes:

  • Nemanja Rodic, MD, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow and housestaff in the department of pathology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, who will study potential genetic activators for ovarian cancer; and,
  • Yu Yu, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who will research the potential of targeting spleen tyrosine kinase as an effective strategy against ovarian cancer.

Applications for the OSB 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 the HERA website at: 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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