Ernst Lengyel, MD, PhD, Arthur L. and Lee G. Herbst Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is the recipient of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) R35 Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA). This award is given to investigators who have an outstanding record of cancer research productivity and is designed to provide them with the latitude for continued scientific innovation and research through long-term funding support. With this award, Dr. Lengyel will build on his novel findings of how the ovarian cancer microenvironment promotes metastasis via unique metabolic effects.
Dr. Lengyel’s consistent contributions to understand the biology of ovarian cancer and his commitment to mentor and train others in his lab are truly inspiring, and those who have had the opportunity to work alongside him in the operating room or at the lab bench immediately understand why. Some of his notable research contributions include characterizing a variety of proteases to identify their role during ovarian cancer invasion and metastasis, determining the role of adipocytes in the promotion of metastasis, developing a novel 3D culture system to study ovarian cancer in conditions that are similar to the human tumor microenvironment, and identifying possible agents suitable for the prevention of ovarian cancer.
The NCI Outstanding Investigator Award will provide a 7-year $6.7M grant for Dr. Lengyel’s project entitled, “Metabolic reprogramming of the tumor microenvironment and therapy resistance.” This award serves as a testament to Dr. Lengyel’s career-long dedication and desire to understand the regulatory catalysts of ovarian cancer metastasis and the mechanisms of resistance to chemotherapy that make this a devastating and lethal disease to 22,000 women diagnosed every year.