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AnaLisa DiFeo, Ph.D., recognized with the Liz Tilberis Scholarship
Date:12/1/2010

AnaLisa DiFeo, PhD, Instructor in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has been honored by the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) with the Liz Tilberis Grant. Named for fashion icon Liz Tilberis who died of ovarian cancer, the grant is awarded to young researchers in their first faculty appointment who are conducting laboratory research that will advance ovarian cancer detection and treatment. Dr. DiFeo will receive $450,000 over three years to study chemotherapeutic resistance in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), the most lethal gynecologic malignancy in the United States.

"I am honored to be recognized by the OCRF with this prestigious award," said Dr. DiFeo. "Ovarian is one of the deadliest cancers, and we have a long way to go in improving detection and treatment. With this grant I plan to continue to study the mechanisms behind chemotherapy resistance in these tumors and hopefully identify a new drug target that will help circumvent it."

Multi-drug resistance and tumor recurrence after chemotherapy are common in women with EOC. Researchers have been unable to predict patient response to therapy because they do not have a thorough understanding of the complex mechanism within the tumor that causes drug resistance. Dr. DiFeo's research under the grant will be dedicated to studying potential new drug targets for adjunctive therapies that sensitize the tumor to chemotherapy. One such target is microRNAs, a class of RNA that regulates the expression of multiple genes.

Dr. DiFeo will study microRNA profiles and evaluate whether there is a difference in these profiles in EOC tumors that are sensitive to chemotherapy and those that are not. The main focus of her project is to determine the biological and functional relevance of the microRNAs that found to be associated chemoresistance.

The research team hopes to validate the clinical relevance and determine the function of one fami
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Contact: Mount Sinai Press Office
newsmedia@mssm.edu
212-241-9200
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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