Dr. Jasmine Plummer of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (formerly of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) is a 2022 recipient of OCRA’s Early Career Investigator Grant. Her OCRA-funded project is focused on better understanding how genetic mutations trigger cancer development. The goal of her research is to find early biomarkers of ovarian cancer and also identify drugs to effectively target genetic mutations so that normal cells do not develop into tumor cells.
Dr. Plummer’s grant was made possible in part by a generous donation from the Gail Baird Foundation.
What drew you to the field of ovarian cancer research?
Ovarian cancer is important to me because of how poor the prognosis still is. I am most interested in genetic risk of ovarian cancer. I believe we need more research focused on identifying people at increased risk of getting this cancer.
Can you explain your research project?
My research focuses on identifying new markers in family genetics so that we can warn women early about their ovarian cancer risk. From these markers, we are also looking to see if there are better drugs to target the tumors in those who do develop ovarian cancer.
What motivates you to persist in your research?
I always stay grounded in the struggle of those who have ovarian cancer and their families. It motivates me to try and help them — and future generations of their family — to have better outcomes. The more I learn, the more I want to aid in the discovery of early biomarkers to identify more people at increased risk of ovarian cancer.
What is your hope for the field of ovarian cancer research?
My hope for the field of ovarian cancer research is to increase survival rates and decrease incidence rates through finding early biomarkers as well as understanding hereditary factors that contribute to this disease.
If you had the opportunity to personally thank someone from the OCRA community who supported your work, what would you say?
I would personally thank all those dedicated to helping to fund this crucial research.