University of Minnesota Researchers Receive $1.4M for Ovarian Cancer Research

January 18, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (1/18/2019) — Ovarian cancer research at the University of Minnesota takes another leap forward as two cancer research projects receive grants from the Department of Defense (DOD) office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).

Rachel I. Vogel, PhD, assistant professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health and an ovarian cancer researcher with the Masonic Cancer Center, received a 2018 Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) Ovarian Cancer Academy - Early-Career Investigator Award, worth $1,116,501 over four years, for “The role of cytomegalovirus and inflammation on patient symptoms and outcomes in ovarian cancer.”

“Our long-term goal is to optimize survivors’ quality of life and survival,” said Vogel. “We are excited that the DOD recognizes the University of Minnesota for our exceptional research program in ovarian cancer.”

Vogel’s mentors on the program are Melissa Geller, MD, associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health at the Medical School, and Heather Nelson, PhD, associate professor with the School of Public Health.

The same team, this time led by Nelson, was also awarded a DOD Ovarian Cancer Research Program - Pilot Grant, worth $385,000 over two years for their project titled “Cytomegalovirus reactivation in ovarian cancer.”

“Together, these grants will allow us to examine how a very common virus impacts ovarian cancer patients both during their treatment and over the long term. By understanding how the virus is impacting symptoms and treatment we can design interventions to improve outcomes and quality of life,” said Nelson.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately 21,000 women in the United States get diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. Among women in the United States, ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death.

About the University of Minnesota Medical School
The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. Visit med.umn.edu to learn how the University of Minnesota is innovating all aspects of medicine.

About the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota
The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota is the Twin Cities’ own Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated ‘Outstanding’ by the National Cancer Institute. For more than 25 years, researchers, educators, and care providers have worked to discover the causes, prevention, detection and treatment of cancer and cancer-related diseases. Learn more at cancer.umn.edu.

About the University of Minnesota School of Public Health
The University of Minnesota School of Public Health brings innovative research and concrete action to emerging and persistent health challenges. As one of the premier schools of public health in the world, we prepare some of the most influential leaders in the field, and provide the knowledge health departments, communities, and policymakers need to make the best decisions about population health. Learn more at sph.umn.edu.