Dr Tracy O'Mara
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Ovarian and endometrial cancer respectively represent the most lethal and common gynaecological cancers in Australia. Tracy is combining genetic data from both diseases to identify changes in genetic sequences that predispose women to them. Her preliminary analyses have found several genetic markers that appear important for both diseases. On the basis of this work, Tracy was selected as a semi-finalist for the Charles J Epstein Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Research at the 2018 American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting in San Diego.
The net result, she hopes, will be more effective treatments and new drugs. “The work will provide the foundation for us to discover genes that reduce cancer risk and provide potential targets for drug repurposing, using medications currently in use to treat other diseases,” explains Tracy.
She was recently awarded an NHMRC Project Grant (2019-2020) to continue to develop her ovarian and endometrial cancer cross-cancer research.