As a resident, fellow and now a faculty member in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, I have been committed to providing innovative clinical care, conducting translational research and developing my leadership as an educator. Half of my effort is devoted to clinical activities where I strive to utilize innovative surgical techniques, including single incision laparoscopy and robotic surgery, in the care of my patients with cervical, endometrial and ovarian cancer. The remainder of my time is dedicated to translational research and educational activities.
My area of excellence has been in the arena of translational science that seeks to define targets for novel cancer therapeutics. I currently work within an interdisciplinary team to discover molecular signatures that identify sub-populations of patients that may benefit from specific therapies in gynecologic cancers. My recent investigations focus on both rare cancers, such as vulvar cancer and carcinosarcomas, as well as more common GYN cancers including endometrial and ovarian. We have described molecular fingerprints, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene amplification or PIK3CA mutations in subsets of these tumors that may confer sensitivity to emerging novel therapies. I aspire to expand this work and complement an ongoing personalized medicine program between the VCRB, the MGH Translational Laboratory and the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. To realize this agenda, I have acquired experience in multiple technologies including fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), high-throughput genotyping, mouse xenograft modeling, immunohistochemistry (IHC), and array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). My future goal is to identify therapeutically-relevant molecular signatures in ovarian and endometrial cancers and use these fingerprints to design clinical trials that tailor treatment strategies for the individual patients. I have received an institutional K12 grant through the Proton Beam System that will support my investigations on high grade endometrial cancer with a planned clinical trial that incorporates scientific endpoints to understand observed response rates.