Ovarian SPORE Grand Rounds

The Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Ovarian SPORE Grand Rounds offers a multidisciplinary HMS CME conference open to DF/HCC institutions (BWH, BIDMC, BCH, HSPH, HMS and MGH). The series offers remote participation through ZoomThe series hosts renowned local, national and international speakers presenting impactful findings in ovarian cancer. Note: there will be no recordings for these talks, and all talks begin at 3PM EST, unless mentioned otherwise. 


December 15 - Response and Resistance to Antibody Drug Conjugates: Lessons From Breast Cancer

  • Leif Ellisen, MD, PhD

    Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Ellisen is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Program Director for Breast Medical Oncology at the Mass General Cancer Center. He is also co-Leader of the Breast Cancer Program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, MD and PhD degrees from Stanford University, and completed residency training, oncology fellowship training, and postdoctoral research training at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Mass General, respectively. Dr. Ellisen is widely published in the fields of cancer biology, treatment and genetics. As Director of Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genetics at Mass General, Dr. Ellisen's clinical practice is focused on cancer risk assessment, cancer prevention and early detection. Research in Dr. Ellisen's laboratory is in the vanguard of revolutionizing cancer treatment through personalized cancer therapies. Dr. Ellisen is best known for his work on triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), one of the most aggressive forms of the disease. [Read More]



May 19 - "Mutational profiles of ovarian cancer reflect the cell-of-origin” with Kristin Kubler, Ph.D, and "Single-cell resolution of persister cells in ovarian cancer" with Elizaveta Leshchiner, Ph.D

  • The Getz Lab

    Broad Insitute

Gaddy Getz is an internationally acclaimed leader in cancer genomics and is pioneering widely used tools for analyzing cancer genomes. Getz is an institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he directs the Cancer Genome Computational Analysis Group. Getz is a professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School, and he is a faculty member and director of bioinformatics at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center and Department of Pathology. 

The Getz Laboratory specializes in cancer genome analysis, which includes two major steps. The first is characterization — cataloging of all genomic events and the mechanisms that created them during the clonal evolution of cancer (starting from normal cells and progressing to premalignancy, primary cancer, and emergence of resistance), and comparing events at the DNA, RNA, and protein levels between tumor and normal samples from an individual patient. The second is interpretation — analysis of the characterization data across a cohort of patients with the aim of identifying the alterations in genes and pathways that drive cancer progression or increase its risk, as well as identifying molecular subtypes of the disease, their markers, and relationship to clinical variables.

Liza Leshchiner is a Research Scientist in the Getz Lab, working on experimental and computational biology. Liza’s research interests are in the area of cancer biology and therapeutic science, with a focus on novel pathways and novel therapeutic strategies. Liza has a strong expertise in therapeutic proof-of-concept compound development for novel targets as a way to translate genomic and biologic findings, expand the “druggable” genome and challenge common therapeutic limitations.

Liza’s current projects are focused on (i) combining computational analysis with the experimental follow-up of novel pathways of cancer progression and resistance to treatment, in particular by epigenetic mechanisms; (ii) single-cell RNA-sequencing (experimental methods and analysis) to identify unique tumor cell populations and tumor therapeutic response/resistance.

Liza obtained her Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and was a postdoctoral fellow with Stuart Schreiber at Harvard University/Broad Institute.


April 21 - The Role of the MIS/MISR2 Signaling Axis in the Regulation of the Ovarian Tumor Microenvironment

  • David Pepin, PhD

    Massachusetts General Hospital

David Pepin was trained as a molecular and developmental biologist at the University of Ottawa, Canada, where he completed a Ph.D. elucidating the role of chromatin remodeling during ovarian development and in ovarian cancers. In 2011, Dr. Pepin joined the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories as a Research Fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston to continue his training in ovarian cancer research. In 2016 Dr. Pepin established is laboratory as an Assistant Professor in the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories of the Massachusetts General Hospital. His research focuses on women’s health and particularly female reproductive development, ovarian physiology, and ovarian cancer.


March 17 - Mechanisms of Resistance to Cancer Immunotherapy


    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Wucherpfennig received his MD in 1986 and his PhD in 1987 from the University of Goettingen, Germany. He completed research fellowships at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University. In 1995, he joined DFCI, where he is principally involved in basic laboratory research that focuses on T cell immunology and the role of T cells in cancer immunology. 


February 17 - Bridging the Gap: Developing Effective Interventions for Patients with Serious Illness

  • Alexi A. Wright, MD, MPH

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Wright is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and  Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  She received her Medical Degree from University of Pennsylvania and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a Medical Oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.   She also obtained a Masters in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. In 2009 she joined the faculty of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she is a practicing medical oncologist who specializes in gynecologic oncology and health outcomes research.



December 16 - Hereditary Ovarian Cancer: A Mandate to Save Lives Now

  • Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD

    UW Medicine

Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD, is a gynecologic oncologist, UW School of Medicine professor and Co-Leader of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research Program at the Fred Hutchinson/University of Washington Cancer consortium. She has a research and clinical focus on the genetics and prevention of gynecologic cancers including novel therapeutics.

Dr. Swisher earned a B.S. from Yale University and received her M.D. from the University of California at San Diego. She completed her residency at the University of Washington in Ob/Gyn and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Washington University St Louis. She is board certified in gynecologic oncology and obstetrics and gynecology.

Dr. Swisher's clinical interests include gynecologic cancer, clinical trials, cancer prevention, cancer genetics, and novel therapeutics..

Dr. Swisher utilizes tumor information to make personalized treatment plans for each cancer patient. She is working to make genetic testing for cancer risk accessible to all women with and without cancer so that no woman dies of a preventable hereditary cancer.


November 18 - Using Designer Nanoparticles to Target Ovarian Cancer

  • Paula T. Hammond, Ph.D

    The Hammond Lab - MIT

Paula T. Hammond is Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering. She is a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, the MIT Energy Initiative, and a founding member of the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology. The core of her work is the use of electrostatics and other complementary interactions to generate functional materials with highly controlled architecture. Her research in nanomedicine encompasses the development of new biomaterials to enable drug delivery from surfaces with spatio-temporal control. She also investigates novel responsive polymer architectures for targeted nanoparticle drug and gene delivery, and has developed self-assembled materials systems for electrochemical energy devices.

Professor Paula Hammond was elected into the National Academy of Science in 2019, the National Academy of Engineering in 2017, the National Academy of Medicine in 2016, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013.   She is one of only 25 distinguished scientists elected to all three national academies.  She won the ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science in 2018, and she is also the recipient of the 2013 AIChE Charles M. A. Stine Award, which is bestowed annually to a leading researcher in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of materials science and engineering, and the 2014 AIChE Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research.   She was selected to receive the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Teal Innovator Award in 2013, which supports a single visionary individual from any field principally outside of ovarian cancer to focus his/her creativity, innovation, and leadership on ovarian cancer research. By developing degradable electrostatically assembled layer-by-layer (LbL) thin films that enable temporal and even sequential controlled release from surfaces, Paula Hammond pioneered a new and rapidly growing area of multicomponent surface delivery of therapeutics that impacts biomedical implants, tissue engineering and nanomedicine.  A key contribution is her ability to introduce not only controlled release of sensitive biologics, but her recent advances in actually staging the release of these drugs to attain synergistically timed combination therapies. She has designed multilayered nanoparticles to deliver a synergistic combination of siRNA or inhibitors with chemotherapy drugs in a staged manner to tumors, leading to significant decreases in tumor growth and a great lowering of toxicity. The newest developments from her lab offer a promising approach to messenger RNA (mRNA) delivery, in which she creates pre-complexes of mRNA with its capping protein and synthesized optimized cationic polypeptides structures for the co-complexation and stabilization of the nucleic acid-protein system to gain up to 80-fold increases in mRNA translation efficiency, opening potential for vaccines and immunotherapies.  Professor Hammond has published over 320 papers, and over 20 patent applications.  She is the co-founder and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of LayerBio, Inc. and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Moderna Therapeutics.


October 21 - Overcoming PARP Inhibitor Resistance in Ovarian Cancer

  • Alan D. D'Andrea, MD

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. D’Andrea received his Doctor of Medicine from Harvard Medical School in 1983. He completed his residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and a fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital. He also completed a research fellowship at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he cloned the receptor for erythropoietin, the major hormone for blood production. Dr. D’Andrea joined the Dana-Farber faculty in 1990. He is currently the Fuller-American Cancer Society Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School, the Director of the Center for DNA Damage and Repair, and the Director of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dr. D’Andrea is internationally known for his research in the area of DNA damage and DNA repair. His laboratory also investigates the pathogenesis of Fanconi Anemia, a human genetic disease characterized by a DNA repair defect, bone marrow failure, and cancer predisposition.

A recipient of numerous academic awards, Dr. D’Andrea is a former Stohlman Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a Distinguished Clinical Investigator of the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, a recipient of the E. Mead Johnson Award from the Society for Pediatric Research, a recipient of the G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.

D'Andrea Lab 


June 17 - Salt Induced Kinase 2 (SIK2) as a Target for Enhancing Response to Paclitaxel and PARP Inhibitors in Ovarian and Triple Negative Breast Cancers

  • Robert C Bast Jr, MD

    MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Bast is Vice President for Translational Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he holds the Harry Carothers Wiess Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Research. His office facilitates translation of new strategies, drugs and devices from the laboratory to the clinic, as well as the movement of human material and data from the clinic to laboratory. He received his education at Wesleyan University, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins Hospital, the National Cancer Institute, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Before joining the MD Anderson faculty in 1994 he served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and Duke University Medical Center where he was Director of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. [Read More]


May 20 - New Insights on Mechanisms of IDO-mediated Immune Suppression in Ovarian Cancer

  • Adekunle "Kunle" Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG

    University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Odunsi is a gynecologic oncologist whose research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of immune recognition and tolerance in ovarian cancer and translating these findings to immunotherapy clinical trials. He pioneered the development of antigen-specific vaccine therapy and “next generation” adoptive T-cell immunotherapies to prolong remission rates in women with ovarian cancer. [Read More]


April 15 - Rare Ovarian Cancers: Manifestations of Specific Cell Context, Mutation, and Microenvironment Interactions

  • David Huntsman, MD, FRCPC, FCCMG, FRSC, FCAHS

    BC Cancer Research Centre

Dr. David Huntsman (MD, FRCPC, FCCMG) is the Dr. Chew Wei Memorial Professor of Gynaecologc Oncology, holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Molecular and Genomic Pathology, and is a Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UBC. He is also the co-Founder and Director of OVCARE, BC's multidisciplinary gynecologic cancer research team.  [Read More]


March 18 - A Replication Stress Biomarker Correlates with Response to Gemcitabine Versus Combined Gemcitabine and ATR Inhibitor Therapy in Ovarian Cancer

  • Panos Konstantinopoulos, MD, PhD

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Panagiotis (Panos) A Konstantinopoulos, MD, PhD is Director of Translational Research and attending oncologist in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His translational research career focuses on ovarian cancer and other gynecologic malignancies with an important niche in the areas of DNA Damage and Repair and Immunotherapy. His work has focused on unraveling mechanisms of resistance to chemotherapy and targeted agents, developing the rationale and preclinical data for novel drug combinations in ovarian cancer, and on identification of novel diagnostic and predictive biomarkers of therapeutic response in gynecologic cancers as well investigating their mechanistic implication in carcinogenesis.  [Read More]


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For more information about this seminar series, email: dfhcc@partners.org or Kati Poulin.