Most women first diagnosed with ovarian cancer usually have advanced disease. While most of these patients will initially respond to surgery and chemotherapy, relapse with drug-resistant cancer usually occurs and the women die. In his project, Dr. Zou will use an animal model to study various types of ovarian cancer cells, including the cancer stem cell, which is believed to play a role in cancer development, cancer metastasis and chemotherapy resistance. He will also study the role immune cells and other cells in the tumor microenvironment play in facilitating cancer stem cell growth and in chemotherapy resistance. His findings should lead to a greater understanding of the defects in the molecular pathways involved in disease progression and drug resistance.