Sandra Orsulic, PhD

Director, Women's Cancer Biology
Phone:(310) 423-9546
Fax:(310) 423-9537

Institute Affiliation

Cancer Institute
Women's Cancer Research Institute

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor, OBGYN

Awards and Activities

Co-Chair, AACR Conference2013

Research Focus

To understand the genetic and epigenetic changes leading to the initiation and metastatic spread of ovarian cancer; generate suitable pre-clinical models for testing therapies that target specific biochemical pathways; and identify recognizable histological or molecular markers that could be used for early cancer detection.

Research Contributions

Developed a genetically defined mouse model of ovarian epithelial cancer that recapitulates human ovarian carcinoma development and progression. The laboratory used this model to study oncogene cooperation, molecular mechanisms of tumor sensitivity and resistance to pathway-targeted therapy, immune responses in cancer progression, and Brca1-related ovarian tumorigenesis.

Current investigations include:

Development of mouse models of ovarian cancer; molecular characterization of cooperating biochemical pathways in ovarian cancer initiation; and identification and functional characterization of key genes that promote ovarian cancer progression and metastasis.

Selected Publications

  1. Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network, Kandoth C, Schultz N, Cherniack AD, Akbani R, Liu Y, Shen H, Robertson AG, Pashtan I, Shen R, Benz CC, Yau C, Laird PW, Ding L, Zhang W, Mills GB, Kucherlapati R, Mardis ER, Levine DA: Integrated genomic characterization of endometrial carcinoma. Nature, 497(7447): 67-73, 2013
  2. Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network: Integrated genomic analyses of ovarian carcinoma. Nature, 474(7353): 609-15, 2011
  3. Cheon DJ, Orsulic S: Mouse models of cancer. Annu Rev Pathol, 6: 95-119, 2011
  4. Miao J, Wang Z, Provencher H, Muir B, Dahiya S, Carney E, Leong CO, Sgroi DC, Orsulic S: HOXB13 promotes ovarian cancer progression. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 104(43): 17093-8, 2007
  5. Gasser S, Orsulic S, Brown EJ, Raulet DH: The DNA damage pathway regulates innate immune system ligands of the NKG2D receptor. Nature, 436(7054): 1186-90, 2005
  6. Xing D, Orsulic S: A genetically defined mouse ovarian carcinoma model for the molecular characterization of pathway-targeted therapy and tumor resistance. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 102(19): 6936-41, 2005

Lab Information