image - 3 OCRF Ford Lab 240215   Edit

Gynaecological Cancer Research Group

About Us

The overall aim of the Gynaecological Cancer Research Group is to understand why gynaecological cancers develop, how and why they spread throughout the body, and how best to treat them. “Gynaecological cancer” encompasses all cancers of the female reproductive system, though our current research focuses on ovarian and endometrial cancer.

We have a number of current projects including the development of an early detection test for ovarian cancer, and the identification of key targets for anti-metastatic therapies in ovarian and endometrial cancer.

We have a particular interest in the Wnt signalling pathway, an important signalling pathway involved in metastasis. We are particularly interested in investigating the regulation of a number of key proteins involved in this pathway, and understanding their role in the context of ovarian and endometrial cancer spread.

The group is led by Dr Caroline Ford, a cancer researcher within the School of Women's and Children's Health and based at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre. After completing her PhD at UNSW on the topic of oncogenic viruses, Dr Ford undertook two international postdoctoral appointments in cancer research. Her first postdoctoral research appointment was at the University of Toronto, Canada and the second appointment was at Lund University, Sweden. She returned to UNSW in late 2009 funded by an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship and established her research group.

Dr Ford is also an experienced university lecturer, convening courses on medical research, cancer pathology and personalised medicine, including Australia's first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Personalised Medicine. She has completed a Graduate Certificate in University Learning & Teaching, and is passionate about science communication and enhancing the health literacy of the wider community. In 2017 she was named as an inaugural ‘Superstar of STEM’ by Science & Technology Australia.

Research Projects

Current and future projects include:

  • 3D model of ovarian cancer metastasis
  • A search for a “Wnt signature” in gynaecological cancers
  • Expression and function of Wnt receptors in endometrial cancer
  • The effect of Wnt inhibitors on ROR1 and ROR2 signalling using a novel ascites tumour model

 

CAMILLA & MARC Ovarian Cancer Campaign

image - Gynaecological Cancer Research Group

The Gynaecological Cancer Research Group aims to understand why gynaecological cancers develop, how and why they spread throughout the body, and how best to treat them. “Gynaecological cancer” encompasses all cancers of the female reproductive system, however the group’s research focuses on ovarian and endometrial cancer.

The group is currently investigating the development of an early detection test for ovarian cancer, and the identification of key targets for anti-metastatic therapies in ovarian and endometrial cancer. They also have an interest in understanding chemoresistance and cancer progression.

To raise some much needed funds CAMILLA AND MARC have launched their #ovariestalkaboutthem campaign in partnership with UNSW and A/Prof Caroline Ford.

This is a very personal milestone for brother & sister duo, Marc Freeman & Camilla Freeman-Topper who lost their mother to #ovariancancer when they were children.

Through their grief, they have become a powerful voice for the voiceless, using their fashion brand to generate awareness of this hideous disease and to raise much needed funds for research.

Funds raised from this campaign, will directly support the Gynaecological Cancer Research Group at UNSW, and specifically the validation of an early detection test for ovarian cancer.

In Australia, 1 woman dies every 8 hours from ovarian cancer - that's 3 women per day!

This is largely due to the lack of an early detection test, stigma attached to discussing women's reproductive organs, and a dearth of funding for research.

You can support the campaign by:
1) Purchasing a Limited Edition t-shirt: https://www.camillaandmarc.com/ebou…/ovarian-cancer-tee.html
2) Donating directly to the research: https://gcrf.everydayhero.com/au/ovaries-talk-about-them-1  or   https://alumni.unsw.edu.au/Giving/MED/GCRF
3) Sharing the campaign with your networks.

 

Moran Family fundraising for Ovarian Research Fund

image - Gynaecological Cancer Research Group

All proceeds are going directly to Ovarian Cancer Research at the UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre.

Read the story and donate HERE

 

Staff/Team members 
Other team members 

Postdocs
Dongli Liu
Miya John

PhD students
Nicole Yuwono
Bonnita Werner

Honours students
Judy Xu

Opportunities for Staff/Students 

The Gynaecological Cancer Research Group provides opportunities for Honours students and PhD students.
We also take a select number of Medical School students each year for ILP projects.
As a first point-of-contact please email, Dr Caroline Ford.

Back to Top