Student NameBelén De La Flor
Faculty Mentor NameShuang Huang, Ph.D
CollegeUF Health Cancer Center
MajorHealth Education and Behavior
Research InterestsCancer, Ovarian Cancer/Disease, Public Health, Minority Health, Women's Health
Academic AwardsPhi Eta Sigma Honors
OrganizationsAlpha Phi, Pre-Med AMSA, LMSA, Women Student Association, Global Medical Missions Alliance
Hobbies and InterestsTraveling, painting, snorkeling, volunteering, music, exercising

Research Project

Defining Molecular Mechanism Underlying Ovarian Cancer Metastasis

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are not as specific as others which is why indications of the serious illness are not seen by women or their health care providers until the cancer is widespread and difficult to cure. Late diagnosis is the major contributing factor to the high mortality rate with less than a 30 percent overall 5-year survival. Since there is no early diagnosis in ovarian cancer it explains why 80% of patients diagnosed are already in Stage 3 or 4. Metastatic cancer and its re-occurrence rate are ultimately very high and there has been little to no improvements in the last 50 years in late Stage 2. Due to such high death rates, the goal of this project is to discover the specific mechanisms of growth and metastasis that is associated with ovarian cancer in order to overcome it. The lab will consist of identifying cancer driver genes and their pathways in ovarian cancer while emphasizing the development of targeted therapeutic strategies against ovary malignancies.