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Pre-Clinical Models of Cyclin E1 Amplified High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer

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  • Full or part time
    Prof D. Bowtell
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynaecologic malignancy and 5th most common cause of cancer death in Western women. Despite aggressive surgery and chemotherapy, a majority of women experience recurrence and ~70% will succumb to the disease. Resistance to chemotherapy is the major barrier to long-term remissions.

We lead the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study, one of the largest ovarian cancer cohort studies in the world. We participate in the International Cancer Genome Consortium, an ambitious project to map the drivers of human cancers using genome-wide DNA sequencing. Our laboratory has recently led the largest ever whole genome characterization of high-grade serous cancer samples (Patch et al 2015 Nature). Samples were derived from primary surgery, disease recurrence, and Australia’s only rapid autopsy program.

Despite aggressive surgery and chemotherapy, a majority of women with high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) recur. We have shown that amplification of the cyclin E1 gene (CCNE1) is associated with primary chemotherapy resistance in HGSC. This project aims to further advance novel therapeutic approaches to targeting CCNE1 amplification. This study will involve the development and characterisation of patient derived xenografts and genetically engineered mouse models of CCNE1 amplified HGSC, as well as large-scale functional and genomic studies including high-throughput drug screens and next generation sequencing. Results generated from this project have significant potential for clinical translation.

The Bowtell laboratory has a major focus on the genomic characterisation of ovarian cancer, seeking to understand the biology of treatment response and resistance, and to translate these findings into new treatment approaches.

Funding Notes

All PhD students at Peter Mac must have a scholarship from The University of Melbourne or through another government, trust or philanthropic organisation. Before applying for a scholarship, you must have agreed on a project with an institute supervisor.

For further information about the university application process, see:

For further information regarding scholarships (both local and international), see:
Closing dates for applications for scholarships to commence in 2017: Round 1 -31 October 2016; Round 2 - 18 Dec 2016.

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