University of Minnesota
MICaB Graduate Program
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Current Students

Anna Rogers

Thesis Advisor: Amy Skubitz

Year entered: 2016

Degrees received:
B.S., Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 2012

Thesis Research:

Of the more than 21,000 women in the U.S. who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, only 45% will survive beyond five years.  This is largely because ovarian cancer is primarily detected in the late stages of disease progression.  Current screening methods are not adequately sensitive or specific to be used in screening general populations to detect early stage ovarian cancer, and past efforts to identify novel  ovarian cancer biomarkers have been limited to blood and tissue samples taken from patients with late stage ovarian cancer, with little success in applying these findings to early detection of ovarian cancer.

In my project, I will  use mass spectrometry-based  proteomic analysis of residual Papanicolaou (Pap) cervical cancer test fixatives to identify an array of early ovarian cancer  protein biomarkers and will then verify their specificity and sensitivity by screening Pap test fixatives from patients with a variety of gynecological pathologies. Our long-term goal is to develop a routine, noninvasive "Pap Protein" test that can be used in parallel with the routine cervical cancer screenings performed on 30 million women each year, thereby detecting ovarian cancer when it is treatable and increasing ovarian cancer survival rates.