Women's Cancer

Research areas in Women's Cancer

Metastasis Research

The overall aim of the Metastasis Research group is to understand the key processes in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer metastasis, in order to identify targets for novel therapies.

This group focuses on an important signalling pathway involved in metastasis, the Wnt signalling pathway. They 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, endometrial and breast cancer.

The group is leda 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 the Metastasis 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.

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
Staff/Team members 
image - Estelle Llamosas
Research Officer
Ph 02 9385 1439
Other team members 
image - Women's Cancer

  Ms Claire Henry
  PhD Candidate


image - Women's Cancer

  Ms Marilisa Cortesi
  PhD Candidate



Opportunities for Staff/Students 

The Metastasis Research group provides opportunities for Honours students and PhD students.

We also take a number of Medical School students each year for ILP projects.

As a first point-of-contact please contact Dr Caroline Ford caroline.ford@unsw.edu.au.

Molecular Oncology

The Molecular Oncology Group participates in two large international consortia investigating genetic susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer. The group also co-leads an international consortium studying ovarian tumours to identify clinically relevant biomarkers. In addition the group coordinates the centralised sample repository for these consortia for sequencing, genotyping and tumour profiling and performs high throughput experiments using the latest genomics technologies. 

Read more about Prof Ramus and her research: World leading ovarian cancer researcher joins UNSW Medicine

Staff/Team members 
Professor of Molecular Oncology
Ph (02) 9385 1720
Other team members 

Maria Intermaggio
Research Officer

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