Ovarian Cancer Midwest Focus Conference


The University of Minnesota Medical School, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s Health and the Hormel Institute present:


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Thursday, November 11, 2021  |  8:00 - 5:00 pm

Friday, November 12, 2021  |  8:00 - 5:00 pm

Program Chairs:

Martina Bazzaro, PhD - University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Campus

Ilana Chefetz, PhD - The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota

Ronny Drapkin, MD, PhD - University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine

Melissa Geller, MD, MS - University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Campus

Gottfried E. Konecny, MD - University of California - Los Angeles


The 2021 Ovarian Cancer Midwest Focus (OCMF) Conference will be both an in-person and a virtual conference that will include live streamed discussion rounds with national and international speakers, short talks based on abstracts, and group discussions. Topics will include Early Detection, Immunotherapy, Novel Therapeutics, Metabolism, Preclinical Models of Ovarian Cancer, Personalized Medicine, Microenvironment, Epigenetics, PARP Inhibitors, Chemoresistance, Combination Therapy, Clinical Studies, Technology Commercialization, and Career Development (lunch and learn).


The Symposium will begin virtually and in-person on Thursday morning. The conference is single-track (no concurrent sessions) to give all attendees the opportunity to hear all presentations and discussions. Each day will feature Keynote Speakers, Flash Talks, and Lunch and Learn Presentations.

Some of our distinguished list of speakers include:

Maria Barbolina, PhD, from the University of Illinois Cancer Center, presenting on Microtubules (MTs) and their Dynamics in Chemo-Resistant Ovarian Cancer. 

Ron Buckanovich, MD, PhD, from the Magee-Womens Research Institute, presenting on Ovarian Cancer Models: A Humanized Model of Ovarian Cancer.

Uri Ben-David, PhD, from the Tel Aviv University, presenting on Aneuploidy in Cancer and in Chemoresistance.

Andrew K Godwin, PhD, from the University of Kansas Cancer Center, presenting on Exosomes as Diagnostic and Early Detection Tools.

Panagiotis A. Konstantinopoulos, MD, PhD, from the Harvard Medical School, presenting on Novel Agent Combinations: Targeting Synergism and Potentiation.

Keren Levanon, MD, PhD, from the Chaim Sheba Medical Center, presenting on Lavage Proteomics. 

Stéphanie Lheureux, MD, PhD, from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, presenting on Novel Agent Combinations: Targeting Adaptive and Resistance Response. 

Karen H. Lu, MD, from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, presenting on Risk-Reducing Salpingectomy (WISP, TUBA, NRG). 

Kirk J. McManus, MSc, PhD, from the University of Manitoba, presenting on Dynamics of Chromosome Instability. 

Sohrab P. Shah, PhD, from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, presenting on Malignant and Immunologic Clonal Dynamic.

Jason Sheltzer, PhD, from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, presenting on Aneuploidy in Cancer.

Ie-Ming Shih, MD, PhD, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, presenting on Tubal Origins.

Fiona Simpkins, MD, from the University of Pennsylvania, presenting on Overcoming PARPi Resistance.

Victor Velculescu, MD, PhD, from the John Hopkins Medicine, presenting on Emerging Liquid Bx Technology.

Beth Weaver. PhD, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, presenting on CIN, p53 and Chemoresistance in Solid Tumors.

Weiping Zou, MD, PhD, from the University of Michigan, presenting on Dynamic Heterogeneity of Immune Cells in Ovarian Cancer.

Call for Abstracts

OCMF is now accepting abstracts for Flash Talks at the upcoming

Ovarian Cancer Midwest Focus (OCMF) Conference


OCMF will invite speakers for Flash Talks based on selected abstracts delivered in topical sessions. These Flash Talks are 5 minutes in length with additional time at the end for questions. They are given in a plenary format to an interdisciplinary audience. Hence, the content should be interesting to a diverse audience and clearly focused to deliver two or three key points. We would also like to emphasize the Flash Talks as an excellent opportunity for trainees to present their research, and encourage trainees to submit an abstract for consideration.

This conference aims to provide a collaborative environment which will allow an interdisciplinary approach to ovarian cancer research, hence a broad range of topics are actively encouraged. We seek abstracts for Flash Talks that address topic areas related to ovarian cancer research, including:


·Clinical Studies

·Combination Therapy

·Early detection





·Novel Therapeutics

·PARP Inhibitors

·Personalized medicine

·Preclinical models of ovarian cancer

The deadline for oral presentation proposals is September 1st, 2021. 


Contact for questions:

Olivia Niles, 612–626–3111 or oniles@umn.edu