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Identification of genetic variation predisposing to ovarian cancer

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Ovarian cancer (OC) has a strong heritable component but BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations account for only ~40% of the heritable fraction. We hypothesize that analogous to our findings in breast cancer families, much of the ‘missing’ heritability of OC is explained by mutations in many moderate or high penetrance genes, but that any one gene defect is present in only a few families. Given the likely heterogeneity for non-BRCA1/2 OC families, family-based whole exome sequencing (WES) will be a powerful means of identifying new predisposition genes.

Following familial WES analysis, candidate genes will be screened in 1000 additional familial ovarian cancer index cases and matching controls. Genes will also be investigated by segregation analysis in positive families and LOH analysis in tumour DNA. In addition to discovery of new genes by WES, all cases and family members will be genotyped for all highly validated low penetrance SNPs to calculate a polygenic risk score that will determine if co-inheritance of low penetrance risk alleles may explain some familial OC aggregation.



Research interests:
The major focus of the Campbell Laboratory is the identification of genes involved in the predisposition, initiation and progression of breast and ovarian cancer.

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:
View Website

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


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