Decoding the Noncoding Genome of Ovarian Cancers

Research in the Lawrenson Laboratory focuses on the interplay between the transcriptome and the epigenome in ovarian cancer development and progression.

Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological cancer in developed countries, and there is a critical need to identify novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for this disease. While the majority of translational research focuses on proteins and protein-coding genes, research in the Lawrenson Laboratory explores the pathways and mechanisms upstream of the genes deregulated in cancer, as a novel approach to identifying targetable vulnerabilities in cancer. The idea is that by understanding how cancer genes become deregulated we might be better equipped to design rational and more potent approaches to disease treatment. The Lawrenson Lab has a particular focus on the role of long non-coding RNAs that become deregulated during ovarian cancer development, and in studying the role of specific transcription factors, such as PAX8, to glean insight into the histotype-specific cellular origins of this disease.


The PI: Dr Kate Lawrenson


Dr Lawrenson trained at University College London before moving to Los Angeles in 2010, to complete a postdoc position at USC. Dr Lawrenson began her research career as a cell biologist, but once she turned to genomics she never looked back!


Current position:

Assistant Professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Cancer Program at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA

Assistant Professor, Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA.

Assistant Professor-in-Residence, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA