Roswell Park Cancer Institute and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute have been awarded $11 million SPORE Grant.
Distributed over five years, the funds will come through a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant. The research team, led by Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator of the RPCI/UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE grant, will study novel immunotherapy approaches for the treatment of and risk assessment for ovarian cancer. The research itself will encompass four projects: three clinical trials evaluating newly developed immunotherapies and one epidemiological study looking for ways to reduce risk in women at high risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Dr. Kunle Odunsi is Chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Director of the Center for Immunotherapy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). He joined the staff of RPCI in 2001 as an Attending Surgeon in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology.
Dr. Odunsi earned his medical degree from the University of Ife in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, in 1984. He completed postgraduate training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Rosie Maternity and Addenbrookes Hospitals, University of Cambridge, U.K., leading to membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 1991.
Dr. Odunsi completed a research fellowship in Molecular Oncology and earned his PhD at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, U.K. Subsequently, he completed residency training in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., and a clinical fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at RPCI. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the U.K. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Dr. Odunsi is licensed by New York State and certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is also board certified in the sub-specialty of Gynecologic Oncology.
Dr. Odunsi’s research interests include the molecular characterization of tumor antigens in ovarian cancer and their application to the development of vaccine therapies for the disease. He is the Co-Leader of the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at RPCI.
Dr. Odunsi has authored or co-authored more than 200 journal publications and book chapters. He is Associate Editor for BMC Cancer. He is on the Editorial Board of Cancer Immunology Research and BMC Cancer. He also is an ad-hoc reviewer for several journals including Oncogene, PLoSONE, Cancer Research, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Odunsi is Principal Investigator of a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) award by the NCI; and of a Cancer Vaccine Collaborative Grant by the Cancer Research Institute / Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He is also the Co-Chair of the Ovarian Task Force of the NCI Gynecologic Cancer Steering Committee.
He is the recipient of the 2012 Hope Award.