OCRA Research Prizes

OCRA awards prizes each year for outstanding research.

Awarded annually through nominations by the scientific community, the Rosalind Franklin Prize for Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research is open to senior researchers.

Awarded biannually through self nominations, are the Schreiber Research Prize for Outstanding Mentored Investigators and Liz Tilberis Research Prize for Outstanding Early Career Investigators. These two prizes are open to past OCRA grantees only.

Call for nominations open once a year typically in the fall. For questions or to be added to our list for call for nominations please email: grants@ocrahope.org

Rosalind Franklin Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Prize

The Rosalind Franklin Prize is named for the molecular biologist Dr. Rosalind Franklin, who played a vital role in discovering the structure of DNA.  Her life was cut short in 1958 when she died of ovarian cancer at age 37. Throughout her life she was a committed researcher; this prize is presented to a senior researcher who continues Franklin’s legacy of excellence. 

Current Winner: Ursula Matulonis, MD

Dr. Ursula Matulonis headshot, smiling
Dr. Ursula Matulonis

Ursula Matulonis, MD, is Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is the first recipient of the Brock-Wilson Family Chair at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and co-leads the Gynecologic Cancer Program within the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Ovarian Cancer Specialized Program in Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Cancer Institute. 

Dr. Matulonis serves as Grants Oversight Chair of OCRA’s Scientific Advisory Committee. In 2014, she received OCRA’s Collaborative Research Development Grant for her project, “Rational Combinations of Novel Biologic Agents for Ovarian Cancer Therapy.”

Dr. Matulonis has led several PARP inhibitor, anti-angiogenic agent, immunotherapy, antibody drug conjugate, and combination trials for ovarian cancer in the United States and internationally. She is internationally recognized for her leading role in the clinical development of PARP inhibitors and other practice-changing therapies for ovarian cancer. 

Dr. Matulonis has led several key trials that have resulted in the approval of PARP inhibitors by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) for recurrent ovarian cancer; has made significant strides in better understanding chemotherapy resistance; and was co-principal investigator of the SORAYA study, the results of which show promise for a potential new treatment for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. 

Dr. Matulonis holds a leadership role in the ovarian cancer community, receiving numerous honors for patient advocacy and research excellence. She serves as a mentor to junior faculty and fellow, supporting researchers who have since emerged as leaders in ovarian cancer research and treatment, and ensuring future generations of scientists continue to pursue more effective therapies and ultimately a cure.

Rosalind Franklin Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Prize Past Winners
  • 2021 – Kathleen Cho, MD
  • 2020 – Ie-Ming Shih, MD, PhD
  • 2019 – Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG
  • 2018 – Robert Coleman, MD
  • 2017 – Ronny Drapkin, MD, PhD
  • 2016 – Jeff Boyd, PhD
  • 2015 – Beth Karlan, MD
  • 2014 – Anil Sood, MD
  • 2013 – Elizabeth Swisher, MD
  • 2012 – Ronnie Alvarez, MD
  • 2011 – Robert Allen Burger, MD
  • 2010 – George Coukos, MD, PhD
  • 2009 – Nicole Urban, ScD
  • 2008 – Robert Bast, MD
  • 2007 – Deborah Armstrong, MD
  • 2006 – Elise Kohn, MD
  • 2005 – Barbara Goff, MD

Liz Tilberis Research Prize for Outstanding Early Career Investigators

The Liz Tilberis Research Prize for Outstanding Early Career Investigators is awarded to an individual who can best demonstrate that he or she has used prior OCRA funding to impact the field of ovarian cancer research by obtaining independent extramural funding, and making important contributions to the literature.

Current Winner: Pradeep Chaluvally-Raghavan, MSc, PhD

Dr. Pradeep Chaluvally-Raghavan headshot
Dr. Pradeep Chaluvally-Raghavan

Pradeep Chaluvally-Raghavan, MSc, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He received OCRA’s Ann Schreiber Mentored Investigator Grant in 2013 for his project, “Role of microRNAs in the 3q26 Amplicon in Ovarian Cancer Pathophysiology and Therapy,” and OCRA’s Liz Tilberis Career Development Award in 2016 for his project, “Unexpected Role of CLDN11 cdRNA in Ovarian Cancer.” 

Dr. Chaluvally-Raghavan credits OCRA’s support with enabling transformational changes in his research, not only in the basic mechanistic studies but also in developing agents that have the potential to treat ovarian cancer patients. 

Since receiving grants from OCRA, he has established a robust and highly-focused research program that is investigating non-coding RNAs, and RNA binding proteins in cancer cells and in infiltrated immune cells. 

Dr. Chaluvally-Raghavan’s research group findings are currently being translated into investigational drugs for clinical trials.

Liz Tilberis Research Prize for Outstanding Early Career Investigators Prize Past Winners
  • 2020 – Sarah Adams, MD
  • 2018 – Selvendiran Karuppaiyah, PhD
  • 2016 – Rugang Zhang, PhD

Schreiber Research Prize for Outstanding Mentored Investigators

The Schreiber Research Prize for Outstanding Mentored Investigators is named in honor of Ann and Sol Schreiber. Ann’s battle with ovarian cancer inspired her husband Sol to start Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (now OCRA) in 1994, where Sol served as Board chair for many years. 

Current Winner: Marion Curtis, PhD

Dr. Marion Curtis
Dr. Marion Curtis

Marion Curtis, PhD, is Assistant Professor at Mayo Clinic, Department of Immunology. She credits OCRA’s Ann and Sol Schreiber Mentored Investigator Award, which she received in 2016, as a catalyst for her early success in the field, and for her recent transition to full-time faculty at Mayo Clinic, where her work focuses on immune cell metabolism and tumor antigens. 

Dr. Curtis’ OCRA-funded project, “CT45 as a Mediator of Chemosensitivity and Immunotherapy Target,” was performed under mentorship of Dr. Ernst Lengyel, at University of Chicago. The groundbreaking study led to identification of a prognostic biomarker as well as an important tumor antigen for ovarian cancer, and has been patented for future development of strategies to target CT45 therapeutically. 

This year, Dr. Curtis was awarded funding from the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program in the Ovarian Cancer Academy, as an Early-Career Investigator, allowing her to continue her important work focused on improving survival and quality of life for those afflicted with ovarian cancer.

Ann and Sol Schreiber Research Prize for Outstanding Mentored Investigators Prize Past Winners
  • 2021: Marion Curtis, PhD
  • 2019 – Ryan M. Williams, PhD
  • 2017 – Juan Cubillos-Ruiz, PhD
  • 2016 – Anirban Mitra, PhD