Survival from advanced stage ovarian cancer is only 10% and incidence and mortality rates have not significantly improved in the last four decades. Disease recurrence is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, thus investigation of tumor cells that are resistant to chemotherapy and capable of repopulating tumors is vital for achieving cures. These therapy resistant cells are commonly known as cancer stem cells (CSCs) or tumor-initiating cells (TICs). We are investigating signaling pathways, such as NF-kB, and components of the tumor microenvironment, such as adipocytes, that support and enhance the growth of cells with this phenotype.


NF-kB is a ubiquitous and complex transcription factor family important for inflammation, stress response, immune response, proliferation, survival, apoptosis

Cancer stem cells (green) comprise ~10% of the total population of cancer cells. They are relatively resistant to chemotherapy and capable of long-term self-renewal

Ovarian cancer cells grown as spheroids exhibit characteristics of tumors retrieved from patients


Our research is funded by the following organizations