25% of 2017 Grant Funds Awarded to Fred Hutch and UW Researchers

Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer funds local Seattle-area scientists in 2017 including two from University of Washington and one from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

SEATTLE – April 27, 2017 – The Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer announced over $1 million in ovarian cancer research funding at their 2017 Grant Announcement Event held at the Rainier Club on April 26th. The Rivkin Center awarded $300,000 to Seattle-area scientists for the 2017-18 grant period, representing almost 25% of total funding for this period. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington are the top funded institutions in the history of the Rivkin Center, with more than $1.6 million awarded. Each institution has been awarded 11 awards to date.

“The Rivkin Center funds the best novel research ideas in ovarian cancer. We are lucky to have so much talent in the Seattle area,” says Rivkin Center Executive Director Joe White.

The following Seattle-area scientists have been awarded grants for the 2017-18 period:

Andre Lieber, MD, PhD of University of Washington has been named the 2016-2018 Lester and Bernice Smith Fellow. Dr. Lieber is receiving $150,000 in funding over two years to advance his research that may lead to a new prophylactic option for women at a high risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer. Successful results could also be translated to ovarian cancer patients to prevent or delay ovarian and breast cancer recurrence after standard treatment and may be relevant for treating other types of cancer.

Robyn Andersen, MPH, PhD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has been awarded the 2017 James A. Harting Pilot Study Award. Dr. Andersen will receive $75,000 over one year to advance her research looking at how a meditation-cased intervention called “Building Personal Resilience” (BPR), tailored for ovarian cancer patients who have just completed chemotherapy impacts health measures associated with cancer outcomes such as Heart Rate Variability (HRV). This work will lay the foundation for a larger study that will not only improve the quality of life in ovarian cancer survivors, but may also have a direct impact on their physical health. Dr. Andersen was previously funded by the Rivkin Center for a study that was the first of its kind to identify symptoms of ovarian cancer, which is now used globally to help identify the disease.

Rosanna Risques, PhD, of University of Washington has been awarded the 2017 Pape Family Pilot Study Award. Dr. Risques will receive $75,000 over one year to advance her research to determine if women with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations carry more TP53 mutations in their blood, and whether this correlates with a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer. If this proves true, sampling TP53 mutations in the blood could be an easy, non-invasive way to determine a patient’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.