research

Past Research

MOCA has been providing ovarian cancer research funding since 2001. We have awarded nearly $9 million in research funding.

Below please find details on our past 5 years of research funding. If you are interested in learning more about past MOCA research funding, please call the MOCA office at 612-822-0500.

2018 MOCA Research Funding

In May 2018, MOCA provided a total of $775,000 to ovarian cancer researchers. We awarded $675,000 to five ovarian cancer research projects developed by Minnesota researchers.

We also awarded $100,000 to two researchers as part of our National Early Detection Research Awards.

The 2018 MOCA-funded researchers include:

2018 Minnesota Research Projects: 

  • Martina Bazzaro, Ph.D. University of Minnesota. “Targeting of mitochondrial activity to prevent and treat recurrent ovarian cancer.” $75,000 for one year. Spin it Teal Research Award.
  • Carol Lange, Ph.D. and Laura Mauro, Ph.D. University of Minnesota. “Targeting DNA damage sensing protein kinases in hereditary ovarian cancer. $200,000 for two years.
  • Swayam Prabha, Ph.D., MBA. University of Minnesota. “Glycoengineered mesenchymal stem cells for combination chemo and immunotherapy of ovarian cancer. $100,000 for one year.
  • Viji Shridhar, Ph.D. Mayo Clinic. “Targeting LRRC15 to inhibit metastasis and recurrence of ovarian cancer.” $200,000 for two years.
  • Bruce Walcheck, Ph.D. University of Minnesota. “Engineered natural killer cells expressing chimeric CD64 as a cancer immunotherapy.” $100,000 for one year.

2018 National Early Detection Research Awards: 

  • Robert Bast, M.D. M.D. Anderson. “Serum autoantibodies for detection of early-stage ovarian cancer.” $50,000 for one year.
  • Haiwei Gu, Ph.D. Arizona State University. “Metabolomics diagnosis of ovarian cancer.” $50,000 for one year.

2017 MOCA Research Funding

In May 2017, MOCA awarded $775,000 to ovarian cancer researchers from the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.

The 2017 funded researchers included:

  • Rachel Hurley, M.D., Ph.D. Candidate, Mayo Clinic. “Identifying novel therapeutic options for women with PARP inhibitor resistant ovarian cancer.” $50,000 for one year.
  • Aminah Jatoi, M.D., Mayo Clinic. “A phase 2 trial of auranofin and sirolimus for recurrent ovarian cancer.” $150,000 over three years.
  • Amy Skubitz, Ph.D., University of Minnesota. “Validation of biomarkers for the early detection of ovarian cancer.” $200,000 over two years.
  • Swayam Prabha, Ph.D., MBA, University of Minnesota. “Translational studies on glycoengineered mesenchymal stem cells in ovarian cancer.”  $100,000 for one year.
  • Andrea Wahner-Hendrickson, M.D., Mayo Clinic. ” PLK4 inhibition as a treatment strategy in high grade serous ovarian cancer” $275,000 over three years.

In November 2017, MOCA expanded our research funding beyond Minnesota with our first-ever National Early Detection Research Grant Awards.

After a rigorous national competitive grantmaking process, MOCA awarded $100,000 to two national research projects focused on early detection.

  • Kevin Elias, M.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, was awarded $50,000 for a one-year project focused on a blood test that is being tested as an early detection screening test of ovarian cancer.
  • Barbara Norquist, M.D., from the University of Washington, Seattle was also awarded $50,000 for a one-year project focused on detecting ovarian cancer by uterine lavage with Crispr-duplex sequencing.

2016 MOCA Research Funding

In May 2016, MOCA awarded $1,035,000 to ovarian cancer researchers at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.

The 2016 funded researchers included:

  • Daniel Vallera, Ph.D., University of Minnesota. “Engaging the immune system to attack ovarian cancer.” $96,908.00
  • Evanthia Galanis, M.D., Mayo Clinic. “Mesenchymal stem cell delivery of measles virus for recurrent ovarian cancer.” $89,636.00
  • Amy Skubitz, Ph.D., University of Minnesota. “New platform for multiplexing biomarkers for the early detection of ovarian cancer.” $100,000.00
  • Marina Walther-Antonio, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic. “Ovarian cancer microbiome signatures.” $98,335.00
  • Melissa Geller, M.D., M.S. University of Minnesota. “IL-15 superagonist ALT-803 for treatment of advanced staged ovarian cancer.” $100,000.00
  • Swayam Prabha, Ph.D., MBA. University of Minnesota. “Glycoengineered mesenchymal stem cells for targeting platinum resistant ovarian tumors.” $100,000.00
  • Martina Bazzaro, Ph.D., University of Minnesota. “Breaking off cancer cells’ addictions to prevent and treat recurrent ovarian cancer.” $99,786.00
  • Kimberly Kalli, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic. “Identification of ovarian cancer stromal and stem cell antigens as targets for immunotherapy designed to prevent ovarian cancer recurrence.” $70,000.
  • William Cliby, M.D., Mayo Clinic. “Investigating the stromal contribution to the mesenchymal subtype of ovarian cancer for therapeutic potential.” $70,000.
  • Cheryl Conover, Ph.D. and John Weroha, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic. “PAPP-A: A novel target for chemo-resistant ovarian cancer.” $99,959.00
  • Reuben Harris, Ph.D. and Daniel Harki, Ph.D. University of Minnesota. “Stopping enzyme-catalyzed ovarian cancer evolution.” $81,309.00

2015 MOCA Research Funding

At MOCA’s Annual Meeting in May 2015, our organization provided $660,000 to research projects based at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.

MOCA also branched out to national research funding for the first time in 2015, with $25,000 directed towards the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) Ovarian Cancer Dream Team funding, which MOCA has made a $100,000 commitment to be paid out over four years.

The 2015 research projects include:

  • Reuben S. Harris, Ph.D., University of Minnesota. “Stopping Enzyme-Catalyzed Ovarian Cancer Evolution.” $100,000
  • Ellen L. Goode, Ph.D., M.P.H., Mayo Clinic. “Pharmacogenomics, DNA repair and response to platinum and taxanes in epithelial ovarian cancer.” $97,040
  • Swayam Prabha, Ph.D., M.B.A., University of Minnesota. “Glycoengineered mesenchymal stem cells as theranostic agents.”
  • Andrea Wahner Hendrickson, M.D., Mayo Clinic. “Targeting platinum resistant ovarian cancer via MTH1 inhibition.” $85,000
  • William Cliby, M.D., Mayo Clinic. “Targeting the TCFb signaling pathway for control of metastasis and fibrosis in ovarian cancer.” $80,803
  • Carol A. Lange, Ph.D., University of Minnesota. “BRCA deficiency drives an enriched sex steroid milieu that supports hereditary ovarian cancer carcinogenesis.” $100,000.
  • Daniel A. Vallera, Ph.D., University of Minnesota. “A novel anti-cancer stem cell drug for treating ovarian cancer.” $100,000

2014 MOCA Research Funding

In May 2014, MOCA provided $528,720 to ovarian cancer researchers at Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.

The 2014 research projects include:

  • Matthew S. Block, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic. “A pilot study of the safety and immunogenicity of folate receptor alpha peptide-loaded dendritic cell vaccination in patients with advance stage epithelial ovarian cancer.” $100,000
  • Melissa Geller, M.D., M.S., University of Minnesota. “Indoleamine-2, 3-dioxygenase inhibition with INCB024360 and intraperitoneal delivery of allogeneic natural killer cells for women with recurrent ovarian cancer.” $75,000
  • S. Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D., University of Minnesota. “ Chimeric antigen receptor-directed therapy against ovarian cancer.” $100,000
  • Viji Shridhar, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic. “Repurposing the antimalarial drug quinacrine to treat ovarian cancer.” $75,000
  • Amy Skubitz, Ph.D., University of Minnesota. “Verification of ovarian cancer protein biomarkers in routine PAP tests.” $100,000
  • Andrea Wahner Hendrickson, M.D., Mayo Clinic. “Identification of protein expression patterns as detriments of response to platinum taxane therapy and recurrent disease.” $78,720