Ovarian Cancer Midwest Focus

Ovarian Cancer Midwest Focus Conference

November 13 & 14, 2023
Hybrid Conference: Virtual & In-Person | Coffman Memorial Union - Minneapolis, MN 

Join us at the Ovarian Cancer Midwest Focus (OCMF) Conference for a comprehensive two-day event aimed at advancing ovarian cancer research, education, and patient care.

This conference brings together leading experts, healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers from across the Midwest to discuss the latest advances in ovarian cancer treatment and care. You'll have the opportunity to attend informative sessions, connect with others impacted by ovarian cancer, and learn about the newest innovations in the field.

The symposium will begin virtually and in-person on Monday morning. The conference is single-track (no concurrent sessions) to give all attendees the opportunity to hear all presentations and discussions.

Download the 2023 Agenda


OCMF 2023 features talks from renowned experts in the field of ovarian cancer research, treatment, and patient care. Some of those fantastic speakers include:

November 13th, 2023

Featured Keynote: George Coukos, MD, PhD - University of Lausanne
Advancing Immunotherapy in Ovarian Cancer

Sandra Orsulic, PhD - University of California, Los Angeles
The Role Of The Extracellular Matrix In Ovarian Cancer

Elizabeth Repasky, PhD - Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Housing temperature as a new model for studying the impact of chronic adrenergic stress on tumor growth and anti-tumor immunity

Esha Madan, PhD -  Virginia Commonwealth University
Molecular Mechanisms Which Regulate Fitness Fingerprints Between Cancer and its Microenvironment

Kenneth Nephew, PhD - Indiana University
The DOD OCRP Ovarian Cancer Academy: Early Career Investigators Making a Difference in Ovarian Cancer Research

Denise Connolly, PhD - Fox Chase Cancer Center
CDON: A potential therapeutic vulnerability in ovarian cancer

Heather O'Hagan, PhD - Indiana University
Combining DNA methyltransferase inhibitors with platinum as a strategy to prevent recurrent ovarian cancer

Evripidis Gavathiotis, PhD - Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Targeting mitochondrial vulnerabilities for cancer therapy

Sebastien Talbot, PhD - Queen’s University, Ontario
Intra-Tumoral Nerves in Immunosurveillance

Rachel Vogel, PhD - University of Minnesota
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Patient-Reported Outcomes in Ovarian Cancer

Thing Soong, MD, PhD - University of Pittsburgh
Tubal Immune Milieu and Tumor Precursor Evolution in the Development of High-Grade Serous Carcinoma

Susan Ramus, PhD - University of New South Wales
Susceptibility Genes in the Less Common Histotypes of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

November 14th, 2023

Featured Keynote: Angela Belcher, PhD - Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Developing Tools to Detect Millimeter and Sub-millimeter Ovarian and Fallopian Tumors-Towards Early Detection and Interception of Ovarian Cancer

Tal Danino, PhD - Columbia University 
Engineered Bacteria for Cancer Therapy

Priyanka Verma, PhD - Washington University, School of Medicine
Replication Driven Vulnerabilities In Cyclin E Overexpressing Ovarian Cancers

Achuth Padmanabhan, PhD - University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Role of ZNF217 in Ovarian Cancer Metastasis

Jaeyeon Kim, DVM, PhD, MS - Indiana University, School of Medicine
Progesterone: Ovarian and Breast Cancer in BRCA1 Carriers

Dmitriy Zamarin, MD, PhD - Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai
Targeting immune vulnerabilities and heterogeneity in ovarian cancer

Robert Rottapel, MD - University of Toronto
Targeting the Damaged Transcriptome as an Emergent Vulnerability in Ovarian Cancer

Stephanie Lheureux, MD, PhD - UNH Toronto
Novel ADC’s in Ovarian Cancer

Joyce Liu, MD, MPH - Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Combinatorial Therapies For Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Yaara Oren, PhD - School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University 
Beyond Darwin: Understanding Cancer Persister Cells


This year, OCMF is presenting three inaugural awards to outstanding members in the community that promote the advancement of ovarian cancer research. Learn more about the awards and their recipients below. 

Andrew Godwin Award for Excellence in Community Outreach

Presented to Sarah DeFeo, Chief Program Officer, OCRA

Presented by Rahel Ghebre, MD MPH, Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Inspiration and Philanthropy Award

Presented to Randy & Roseann Shaver, Randy Shaver Cancer Foundation

Presented by Tim Schacker, Vice Dean Medical School 

Award for Outstanding Support for Ovarian Cancer Research

Presented to Kathleen Gavin, Executive Director, MOCA

Presented by Aaron Schilz, Executive Director MCC

Thank you to our 2023 Sponsors!

Expand all

Thank you to our 2023 Sponsors!

View our past speakers and sponsors

Expand all

2022 Agenda and Sponsors

2021 Agenda and Sponsors

A list of our past distinguished speakers

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.

Contact for questions:

Dani Girtz, 612–626–3111 or girtz027@umn.edu

Thank you for joining us for OCMF 2023! The presentation recordings will be posted shortly. 

We hope you will join us next year in Sioux Falls, SD on November 18-19 for OCMF 2024.

Event Information

Monday & Tuesday, November 13 & 14, 2023

Coffman Memorial Union - Minneapolis, MN 

Hybrid Conference - Virtual and In-person

Download the 2023 Agenda

sponsors 2023

Thank you to our 2023 Sponsors!

OCMF 2023 is honored to feature welcome speeches by outstanding members in the ovarian cancer community. This year we are welcomed by...

Senator Tina Smith

 Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD, Dean, University of Minnesota Medical School

Chris Evert, Former Tennis Pro

Conference Planning Committee

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

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

Andrew Godwin, PhD - University of Kansas, Kansas City

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

Boris Winterhoff, MD - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus

Paola D. Vermeer, Ph.D. - Sanford Research - Sioux Falls