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OCRF Research Grant Announcement

new ovarian cancer research grants awarded

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) is pleased to announce almost $1.8 million of new funding awarded to three ovarian cancer research projects.

The OCRF is committed to funding innovative research of the highest quality as assessed by our international panel of scientific experts and our consumer representatives. The OCRF fills a critical funding gap in Australia, ensuring projects with the potential to have the greatest impact for the greatest number of women and girls are funded. Oftentimes, these projects are not able to receive government funding. 

Since 2016, the OCRF has funded more than 50 ovarian cancer research projects, totalling more than $14 million, thanks to our community of donors, fundraisers and corporate supporters.

It is estimated that in 2022, around 1,815 new cases of ovarian cancer were diagnosed in Australia, with more than 1000 deaths from the disease. Women and girls deserve better. Research is the answer.

Read the full media release the link below.

Media release 

ocrf research grant recipients

Professor Brian Gabrielli

Funding awarded: $500,486

Professor Brian Gabrielli and his team from Mater Research Institute and the The University of Queensland are testing a new treatment approach that increases the ability of a patient’s own immune system to recognise and attack tumour cells – like immunotherapy, which is successful in treating melanoma and some lung cancers. The aim is more effective and less toxic treatment than chemotherapy.

Learn more about Professor Gabrielli's research project by watching the video below.

Associate Professor Jason Lee

Funding awarded: $852,343

Associate Professor Jason Lee and his team at Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) Berghofer are working to increase the survival rate of ovarian cancer patients by focusing on circular RNAs as the foundations of an early detection test. Their research intends to not only provide a method of early diagnosis, but also to provide an early indication if a patient in remission is likely to experience cancer recurrence.

“My research team is focused on developing a non-invasive, blood test that can detect ovarian cancer early, so patients can receive effective treatments as soon as possible. This is crucial as we know ovarian cancer survival rates are really promising when the cancer is detected early."

- A/Prof Jason Lee

Professor Michael Jennings

Funding awarded: $444,203

After the discovery of a sugar-based biomarker called Neu5Gc, which at high levels in the blood of patients with ovarian cancer, Professor Michael Jennings and his team at Griffith University will investigate whether this biomarker can be used to identify warning signs of ovarian cancer before it becomes established. The goal is to validate the sugar-based biomarker so that women presenting with high levels of this marker can then benefit from MRI scanning for earlier tumour detection when the cancer is most treatable.

Learn more about the OCRF's research funding strategy here.