Ovarian Cancer Dream Team

OCRA has teamed up with Stand Up To Cancer and the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) to fund an Ovarian Cancer “Dream Team,” which is conducting a large-scale research project to help change the future of ovarian cancer. The project is being spearheaded by Alan D’Andrea, MD (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) and Elizabeth Swisher, MD (University of Washington), a former recent member of the OCRFA Scientific Advisory Committee and also an OCRFA grantee.

The Ovarian Cancer Dream Team focuses on “DNA Repair Therapies for Ovarian Cancer.” The project, announced on April 20, 2015, aims to build on recent advances that have identified DNA repair as a common weakness in ovarian cancer. Researchers will also explore the prevention and early detection of ovarian cancer by developing a web-based approach to genetic testing and counseling. Dream Team researchers hope to offer women identified as genetically high-risk a choice of surgical options, including one that removes the fallopian tubes but spares the ovaries. The Dream Team grant provides funding over a three-year period, which started in July 2015.

Elizabeth Swisher, MD
Elizabeth Swisher, MD
Alan D'Andrea, MD
Alan D’Andrea, MD

Led by Dr. D’Andrea and Dr. Swisher, the project also involves researchers at the Mayo Clinic, University of Chicago, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The Dream Team also includes three patient advocates: Kathleen Gavin, executive director of the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance; Sue Friedman, executive director of FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered); and ovarian cancer survivor Jamie Crase.

Read the Ovarian Cancer Dream Team press release

Listen to Dr. Swisher’s webinar on the Ovarian Cancer Dream Team here.

Watch: Genetic Risk for Ovarian and Breast Cancer, a Testing and Counseling Conversation

In this video recorded in summer 2020, Dr. Elizabeth Swisher, Dr. Laura Shawver, and Pamela, a clinical trial participant, talk about at-home genetic testing and counseling for ovarian and breast cancer risk, and results of the MAGENTA Clinical Trial. Featuring a Q&A answering questions from the ovarian cancer patient community!

Principal Investigators

Alan D. D’Andrea, MD

Alan D'Andrea, MD

Director of the Center for DNA Damage and Repair
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Fuller-American Cancer Society Professor of Radiation Oncology
Harvard Medical School

A graduate of Harvard College, Alan D’Andrea received his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1983. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and a fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at DFCI and Children’s Hospital, Boston. Dr. D’Andrea also completed a research fellowship at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research at MIT where he cloned the receptor for erythropoietin while working in the laboratory of Harvey Lodish. Dr. D’Andrea joined the staff at DFCI in 1990. His research is focused on the molecular cause of leukemia. He also investigates the pathogenesis of Fanconi anemia, a human genetic disease characterized by bone marrow failure and AML in children.

Dr. D’Andrea is internationally known for his research in the area of DNA damage and DNA repair. He is currently the Fuller-American Cancer Society Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Center for DNA Damage and Repair at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A recipient of numerous academic awards, Dr. D’Andrea is a former Stohlman Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and he serves on the LLS Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. He is currently Chairman of the Career Development Selection Committee of the LLS, Chairman of the NIH Molecular and Cellular Hematology Study Section, and a member of the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors for Basic Sciences. Dr. D’Andrea is a Distinguished Clinical Investigator of the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also the recipient of the 2001 E. Mead Johnson Award, the highest award in Pediatric Research, and the 2012 G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research.

Elizabeth Swisher, MD

Elizabeth Swisher, MD

Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Adjunct Professor of Medical Genetics
University of Washington School of Medicine
Medical Director, Breast and Ovarian Cancer Prevention Program
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Elizabeth Swisher, MD, graduated cum laude from Yale University and received her medical degree from the University of California at San Diego. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Washington University, St Louis. She joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 1999 where she is currently a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology and an adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Genetics. Both her clinical and laboratory work focus on cancer genetics. She is medical director of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Prevention Program at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Her research has been funded by the NIH, the Department of Defense, Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, and other cancer foundations.

Dr. Swisher’s research has primarily focused on understanding the early events of ovarian carcinogenesis and on the development of novel biomarkers of disease and prognosis, with an emphasis on the role of the BRCA-Fanconi anemia pathway. She has been exploring how a better understanding of this pathway can lead to more effective therapies and prevention of ovarian cancers. She is principal investigator on several PARP inhibitor therapeutic trials and leads the translational research for numerous other clinical trials. Her overall goal is to reduce the burden of ovarian cancer by combining broader identification of inherited risk with effective prevention.

Listen to Dr. Swisher’s webinar on the Ovarian Cancer Dream Team

Special thanks to the following partners for their financial support of the Stand Up 2 Cancer-Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance -National Ovarian Cancer Coalition-Ovarian Cancer Dream Team:


Leadership Gift: $250,000 – $500,000

  • Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation

Prominent Gift: $100,000 -249,999

  • Colleen’s Dream
  • HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation
  • Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance
  • Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Greater Cincinnati

Major Gift: $50,000 – $99,999

  • Teal Tea Foundation
  • Teal It Up Foundation

Special Gift: $25,000 – $49,999

  • Cancer Support Community
  • Ovarian and Gynecologic Cancer Coalition–Rhonda’s Club
  • Teal Toes

Partner Gift: $10,000 – $24,999

  • Caring Together
  • Kaleidoscope of Hope

Community Collaborator: $5,000 – $9,999

  • Cade Foundation
  • Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance
  • Teal Diva
  • Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer Louisa M. McGregor Ovarian Cancer Foundation (T.E.A.L)
  • Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance

Teal Friend: $2,500 – $4,999

  • NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Foundation
  • Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Arizona
  • Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington


  • Year Two Update: Read the latest update from the Ovarian Cancer Dream Team (summer 2017).
  • Find out about the MAGENTA Trial— funded by the Dream Team– now enrolling women at risk for ovarian cancer.
  • Listen to a one-year update webinar by Dream Team co-leader Dr. Elizabeth Swisher here.  The presentation was recorded on Sept. 22, 2016.