Translational Oncology Scientist,
London Regional Cancer Program
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Cross Appointments: Department of Oncology &
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
Ovarian cancer is a devastating malignancy since in many cases women are first diagnosed after the disease has already spread, or metastasized. Even after aggressive surgery and combination cytotoxic chemotherapy, very often this relentless disease returns quickly with evolved chemotherapy-resistance. Therefore, the overarching theme of the Shepherd lab, within the Translational Ovarian Cancer Research Program (TOCRP) is to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in ovarian cancer metastasis and test new therapeutic strategies to target and alleviate late-stage disease and chemo-resistance.
The TOCRP represents fundamental and translational research activities co-led by scientists Drs. Shepherd and Gabriel DiMattia (Depts. of Oncology & Biochemistry), and in close collaboration with gynaecologic oncology surgeons and other members of the Gynaecologic Oncology Multidisciplinary Disease Site Team at the London Regional Cancer Program. Together, the TOCRP team has made significant discoveries through the novel development and use of ovarian cancer patient ascites-derived cell lines representing disease diversity and their application of an in vitro three-dimensional spheroid culture model of metastasis and tumour biology. The continued objective of the TOCRP is to ultimately apply new research discoveries to impact the lives of ovarian cancer patients with improved therapies to prolong disease-free survival and improve overall quality-of-life.
1. Bioenergetic stress signalling mediated by Liver kinase B1 and its downstream kinase substrates in ovarian cancer spheroids and metastasis.
2. Therapeutic targeting of autophagy as an integral survival mechanism in ovarian cancer metastasis.
3. Regulatory mechanisms underlying epithelial-mesenchymal transition in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer spheroids and metastasis.
4. Impact of interpatient and intratumoral heterogeneity in ovarian cancer on efficacy of oncolytic virus infection and cell killing.
Go to www.theshepherdlab.com for more details.