If you are interested in how cell context, mutation and microenvironment interact to produce the distinct cancers seen in the uterus, fallopian tube and ovary, please contact us. 

The Huntsman lab aims to develop improved diagnostics, biologically informed prevention and cell context specific treatment strategies for ovarian cancers.  Dr. Huntsman is the scientific director of OvCaRe, BC’s multidisciplinary ovarian cancer research team.  His research has led to development of predictive and prognostic tissue based cancer biomarkers for ovarian cancer and a wide variety of other tumour types. They created a blueprint for subtype specific ovarian cancer control and have been leaders in the application of novel genomics technologies to ovarian cancer. Although Huntsman’s realm still uses proteomics and other genomic techniques to better understand ovarian and rare cancers, much of his research is focused on the question of how cell context, mutation and microenvironment interact to produce the absolutely distinct cancers seen in the uterus, fallopian tube and ovary.  To accomplish this, his team are using organoids derived from normal fallopian tube, endometrium and ovarian surface epithelium and uses single cell genomic techniques to determine the impact of the mutations found in these cancers. In the future they will use co-culture techniques and in-vivo systems to determine the impact of paracrine interactions with endometrial, fallopian tube, ovarian and other stroma.    

As collaboration is critical in his field, Dr. Huntsman happily leads and engages in a wide number of multidisciplinary research groups

The lab has on-site locations at the BC Cancer Research Centre, the Robert H.N. Ho Building and the Jack Bell Research Centre.

An overview of BC’s gynecologic cancer research program, OVCARE, can be found here.




Angelito Aurellado

Coordinator, Research Funds Services

Yu Ting (Shary) Chen

Research Assistant / Tech

Dawn Cochrane

Staff Scientist

Amal El-Naggar

Research Associate

Julie Ho

Project / Lab Manager

Jessica Kwon

Research Assistant/Technician

Samuel Leung

Data & Bioinformatic Manager

Amy Lum

Research Assistant/Technician

Kuldeep Randhawa

Research Administration Coordinator

Maria Salamanca

Research Assistant/Technician

Janine Senz

Research Assistant/Technician

Cindy Shen

Research Assistant / Technician

Shelby Thornton

Research Tech

Genny Trigo-Gonzalez

Research Assistant/Tech

Shanzhao Wang

Data Coordinator Analyst

Yemin Wang

Staff Scientist


Farhia Kabeer

Postdoctoral Fellow

Emily Thompson

Post-doctoral Fellow


Naila Adam

Graduate Student

Minh Bui

Co-op Student

Maya DeGrood

Graduate Student

Fourouh Kalantari

Graduate Student

Eunice Li

Co-op Student

ChaeYoung Shin

Graduate Student

Selected Publications

Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Synergize with Catalytic Inhibitors of EZH2 to Exhibit Antitumor Activity in Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary, Hypercalcemic Type.

Molecular cancer therapeutics, 2018
Wang, Yemin, Chen, Shary Yuting, Colborne, Shane, Lambert, Galen, Shin, Chae Young, Santos, Nancy Dos, Orlando, Krystal A, Lang, Jessica D, Hendricks, William P D, Bally, Marcel B, Karnezis, Anthony N, Hass, Ralf, Underhill, T Michael, Morin, Gregg B, Trent, Jeffrey M, Weissman, Bernard E, Huntsman, David G

Molecularly Defined Adult Granulosa Cell Tumor of the Ovary: The Clinical Phenotype.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2016
McConechy, Melissa K, Färkkilä, Anniina, Horlings, Hugo M, Talhouk, Aline, Unkila-Kallio, Leila, van Meurs, Hannah S, Yang, Winnie, Rozenberg, Nirit, Andersson, Noora, Zaby, Katharina, Bryk, Saara, Bützow, Ralf, Halfwerk, Johannes B G, Hooijer, Gerrit K J, van de Vijver, Marc J, Buist, Marrije R, Kenter, Gemma G, Brucker, Sara Y, Krämer, Bernhard, Staebler, Annette, Bleeker, Maaike C G, Heikinheimo, Markku, Kommoss, Stefan, Blake Gilks, C, Anttonen, Mikko, Huntsman, David G

Small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type, displays frequent inactivating germline and somatic mutations in SMARCA4.

Nature genetics, 2014
Ramos, Pilar, Karnezis, Anthony N, Craig, David W, Sekulic, Aleksandar, Russell, Megan L, Hendricks, William P D, Corneveaux, Jason J, Barrett, Michael T, Shumansky, Karey, Yang, Yidong, Shah, Sohrab P, Prentice, Leah M, Marra, Marco A, Kiefer, Jeffrey, Zismann, Victoria L, McEachron, Troy A, Salhia, Bodour, Prat, Jaime, D'Angelo, Emanuela, Clarke, Blaise A, Pressey, Joseph G, Farley, John H, Anthony, Stephen P, Roden, Richard B S, Cunliffe, Heather E, Huntsman, David G, Trent, Jeffrey M

Recurrent somatic DICER1 mutations in nonepithelial ovarian cancers.

The New England journal of medicine, 2012
Heravi-Moussavi, Alireza, Anglesio, Michael S, Cheng, S-W Grace, Senz, Janine, Yang, Winnie, Prentice, Leah, Fejes, Anthony P, Chow, Christine, Tone, Alicia, Kalloger, Steve E, Hamel, Nancy, Roth, Andrew, Ha, Gavin, Wan, Adrian N C, Maines-Bandiera, Sarah, Salamanca, Clara, Pasini, Barbara, Clarke, Blaise A, Lee, Anna F, Lee, Cheng-Han, Zhao, Chengquan, Young, Robert H, Aparicio, Samuel A, Sorensen, Poul H B, Woo, Michelle M M, Boyd, Niki, Jones, Steven J M, Hirst, Martin, Marra, Marco A, Gilks, Blake, Shah, Sohrab P, Foulkes, William D, Morin, Gregg B, Huntsman, David G

ARID1A mutations in endometriosis-associated ovarian carcinomas.

The New England journal of medicine, 2010
Wiegand, Kimberly C, Shah, Sohrab P, Al-Agha, Osama M, Zhao, Yongjun, Tse, Kane, Zeng, Thomas, Senz, Janine, McConechy, Melissa K, Anglesio, Michael S, Kalloger, Steve E, Yang, Winnie, Heravi-Moussavi, Alireza, Giuliany, Ryan, Chow, Christine, Fee, John, Zayed, Abdalnasser, Prentice, Leah, Melnyk, Nataliya, Turashvili, Gulisa, Delaney, Allen D, Madore, Jason, Yip, Stephen, McPherson, Andrew W, Ha, Gavin, Bell, Lynda, Fereday, Sian, Tam, Angela, Galletta, Laura, Tonin, Patricia N, Provencher, Diane, Miller, Dianne, Jones, Steven J M, Moore, Richard A, Morin, Gregg B, Oloumi, Arusha, Boyd, Niki, Aparicio, Samuel A, Shih, Ie-Ming, Mes-Masson, Anne-Marie, Bowtell, David D, Hirst, Martin, Gilks, Blake, Marra, Marco A, Huntsman, David G

Mutation of FOXL2 in granulosa-cell tumors of the ovary.

The New England journal of medicine, 2009
Shah, Sohrab P, Köbel, Martin, Senz, Janine, Morin, Ryan D, Clarke, Blaise A, Wiegand, Kimberly C, Leung, Gillian, Zayed, Abdalnasser, Mehl, Erika, Kalloger, Steve E, Sun, Mark, Giuliany, Ryan, Yorida, Erika, Jones, Steven, Varhol, Richard, Swenerton, Kenneth D, Miller, Dianne, Clement, Philip B, Crane, Colleen, Madore, Jason, Provencher, Diane, Leung, Peter, DeFazio, Anna, Khattra, Jaswinder, Turashvili, Gulisa, Zhao, Yongjun, Zeng, Thomas, Glover, J N Mark, Vanderhyden, Barbara, Zhao, Chengquan, Parkinson, Christine A, Jimenez-Linan, Mercedes, Bowtell, David D L, Mes-Masson, Anne-Marie, Brenton, James D, Aparicio, Samuel A, Boyd, Niki, Hirst, Martin, Gilks, C Blake, Marra, Marco, Huntsman, David G


Oncogenic Significance of Subtype Specific Mutations

The clinical behaviour and potential management strategies for ovarian cancer subtypes are shaped by anatomic and biologic considerations, with the main determinants of biology being cell context and mutation. We are building on our key ovarian cancer mutation discoveries to investigate the basis of pathogenicity with the goal of using this information to improve treatment. Due to the histogenic specificity of the phenotypes, our lab is undertaking functional studies performed model systems derived from the appropriate cells of origin.

Biologically Informed Prevention Strategies for Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancers have historically suffered from generic treatment and prevention approaches that do not account for biologic and clinical differences between subtypes and research conducted without consideration of histotype, making interpretation of results and knowledge translation challenging. Using this subtype-specific approach, one of the key areas of my research program is to prevent disease by studying precursor lesions of ovarian cancer.

Improved Diagnostics for Ovarian and Other Rare Cancers

Accurate diagnosis forms the foundation of effective cancer care. A fundamental aspect of my research is to develop effective diagnostics to guide appropriate therapies for gynaecological cancers. We were one of the original advocates of studying and treating various histological subtypes of ovarian cancer as distinct diseases, both in research and clinically. Using this research, my laboratory discovered key mutations driving several ovarian cancers and rapidly translated these findings into clinical diagnostics.


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