Our Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) plays a key role in driving the OCRF towards achieving its mission by providing informed and expert advice in funding the most innovative and promising ovarian cancer research. Our esteemed SAC members are experts in their fields and come from across the globe to support the Committee of Management in awarding grants for maximum impact and innovation in ovarian cancer research.
Professor Iain McNeish
Director, Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre, Imperial College London
Professor Iain McNeish holds a key role with our sister organisation in the UK and his appointment to the SAC would strengthen this growing partnership for the OCRF. His research focuses on ovarian cancer, specifically developing improved therapies through improved understanding of disease biology. Professor McNeish also co-leads the BriTOC translational research collaborative.
Professor Matthias Ernst
Scientific Director, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
Professor Ernst provided the external review component of the OCRF Research Grant process for 2017-18. His research focuses on molecular mechanisms that underpin the growth of cancer cells and his laboratory team is exploring novel strategies to target cancer-promoting proteins with a focus on developing new therapeutics for gastrointestinal cancers. Professor Ernst is also the Head of the School of Cancer Medicine at La Trobe University and an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow.
Professor Kenneth P. Nephew, PhD
Professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology & Obstetrics and Gynecology, Indiana University School of Medicine
Dr. Nephew is a Professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Indiana University. He leads the Ovarian Cancer Research Group at the IU Simon Cancer Center (IUSCC), serves as the Assistant Director for Basic Science Research Bloomington, and is a Program Leader of the Walther Cancer Institute, which is affiliated with IU. He has dedicated his entire professional career to the study of ovarian cancer. Dr. Nephew’s ovarian cancer research has been continuously funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Cancer Institute (NCI) since 1996. He is the Principal Investigator and co-investigator on numerous grants from National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI), serves on various editorial boards, scientific advisory committees, and review panels for both the NIH, American Cancer Society (ACS), and Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program.
Professor Sandra Orsulic, PhD
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Professor in Residence, UCLA
Director, Women’s Cancer Biology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Sandra Orsulic, Ph.D., is Director of Women’s Cancer Biology at the Women’s Cancer Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Her primary research interests include mouse models of ovarian carcinoma, the molecular characterization of ovarian cancer, and pathway-targeted therapy. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Orsulic was Principal Investigator of a research laboratory at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she also served as Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Orsulic is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium Steering Committee and Chair of the Gynecological Cancers Working Group. She is also a member of The Cancer Genome Atlas Project Ovarian Carcinoma Working Group, which investigates the underlying genetic changes that occur in human ovarian cancer.
Professor Magdalena Plebanski
Enabling Capability Platforms Director Biomedical and Health Innovation, RMIT
Professor Magdalena Plebanksi is an internationally-recognised and award-winning researcher. Her focus is on developing practical and affordable vaccines and treatments for complex diseases like malaria and cancer. She has also pioneered the use of synthetic size-defined non-inflammatory nanoparticles in vaccines
Magdalena has forged a stellar career in medical and health research. She came to Australia from Oxford University in the UK, where she showed new ways in which malaria parasites can trick the human immune system. More recently, her insights have been used to help understand cancer progression across multiple human clinical trials, particularly leukemia and ovarian cancer. Her nanoparticle studies also opened the door to new nanotechnology applications to prevent allergic airways disease. She has more than 50 patents in 10 patent families, which have supported the formation of biotechnology companies.