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Colleen’s Dream Foundation's First ‘Young Investigator’ Grant Directed to Dr. Felix Zeppernick of Johns Hopkins University

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) July 10, 2013

The recent ‘Young Investigator’ research grant given by Colleen’s Dream Foundation to Johns Hopkins University, will be directed to cutting edge ovarian cancer research being conducted by Dr. Felix Zeppernick of Johns Hopkins University’s Molecular Genetics Laboratory of Female Reproductive Cancer, according to Colleen’s Dream Foundation President Billy Cundiff.

“One of the main goals of Colleen's Dream Foundation is to work with Young Investigators at some of the top research hospitals and universities that are researching ovarian cancer,” says Cundiff. "So we are excited to be funding work being conducted by Dr. Felix Zeppernick of Johns Hopkins University.”

Zeppernick, who works in the Johns Hopkins University’s Molecular Genetics Laboratory of Female Reproductive Cancer, says he became interested in ovarian cancer research when he was a medical student.

“I became interested in cancer biology when I was a medical student after getting to hear various lectures on the topic,” says Zeppernick. “I was fascinated by all the tricks a cancer cell can do to become autonomous in growth and evade human defense mechanisms. While I learned that the treatment of ovarian cancer is still particularly difficult, getting to meet patients and their families as a young physician made me even more interested in the topic.”

Zeppernick says he is currently working on an “exciting” ovarian cancer research project.

“At Hopkins, I am engaged in two very exciting projects,” says Zeppernick. “It has been known for a long time that women who take an oral contraceptive pill and women with a low number of lifetime ovulations (e.g. due to pregnancies and breast-feeding) have a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. We are trying to improve our understanding for this interrelationship.”

Go to Colleen's Dream Foundation's blog Beyond Ovarian Cancer for the full interview with Dr. Felix Zeppernick.

Cundiff says that by working with John Hopkins University, and offering seed funding to young investigators like Dr. Zeppernick, Colleen's Dream Foundation will fund cutting-edge research by some of the brightest, young minds in the world.

“The young investigators at Hopkins are some of the best and brightest in the world,” says Cundiff. “This grant is the culmination of many months of hard work for Colleen's Dream Foundation and is the first of many that we will give out in 2013."

Billy Cundiff’s wife Nicole, the Executive Director of Colleen’s Dream Foundation, echoes his sentiments.

"We are so proud to support young investigators like Dr. Zeppernick,” says Nicole. “These individuals are at the front lines and are making cutting-edge discoveries that will impact the future of ovarian cancer. My mom loved Baltimore and so it’s fitting that our first grant given be to a young investigator at Johns Hopkins."

Go here to find out more about the Johns Hopkins Ovarian Cancer Center.


Ovarian cancer is often referred to as “the silent killer” because many women do not discover their disease until it is in the late stages, which leads to many women succumbing to the disease within a short period of time. Unlike cervical or breast cancer, ovarian cancer does not have a standardized early detection procedure. When it comes to women’s health, ovarian cancer proves to be one of the deadliest diseases.


Colleen’s Dream Foundation started in 2012 and supports research for early detection and improved treatment for ovarian cancer. The story of Colleen’s Dream started in 2007 when Colleen Drury – Nicole Cundiff’s mother and Billy Cundiff’s mother-in-law – was diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer. The family became aware of a new world that was filled with invasive surgery, harsh chemotherapy, and lots of uncertainty, and realized they needed to help others who were dealing with ovarian cancer.

Colleen’s Dream Foundation believes it is important to raise money for research that will lead to reliable early detection testing and improved treatment for ovarian cancer. Because so little is known about ovarian cancer in proportion to other women’s health issues, there is an incredible opportunity for research and education.

Go here to find out more about Colleen’s Dream Foundation.

Colleen's Dream Foundation is a qualified 501 (c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Read the full story at

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