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MRC WIMM researchers receive award hosted by the Columbia Hospital for Women Research Foundation

An illustration of female reproductive organs. A cancerous right-ovary is shown. © BlueRingMedia/

Research from the Ahmed Group has been recognised by the Columbia Hospital for Women Research Fund as the most impactful paper in the field of women's cancers published in 2020.

The paper, ‘The Repertoire of Serous Ovarian Cancer Non-genetic Heterogeneity Revealed by Single-Cell Sequencing of Normal Fallopian Tube Epithelial Cells’ was published in Cancer Cell in February 2020.

Professor Ahmed Ashour Ahmed, Director of the Ovarian Cancer Cell Laboratory at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine and Professor of Gynaecology Oncology at the Nuffield Department of Women's and Reproductive Health at the University of Oxford who led the research, said “I am delighted to receive this award from the Columbia Hospital For Women’s Research Foundation in recognition for my group’s work on ovarian cancer. Each year, a paper is chosen as the most impactful in our field for its scientific merit and potential to introduce a significant change in the field. I feel humbled when I look at the papers that received the award in previous years.

In our manuscript we describe how we used single cell RNA sequencing of the normal tissue of origin of ovarian cancer, the Fallopian tube, to discover novel Fallopian tube epithelial subtypes. We used the molecular markers that distinguish these subtypes to reclassify serous ovarian cancer into five classes. We termed this new classification system the “Oxford Classic”. Using this classification we robustly define a group of tumours, the EMT-high that strongly associate with poor prognosis. Our work also confirms the concept that most serous ovarian cancers arise from the Fallopian tube.” 

As part of the award, a donation will be made to a non-profit foundation of the authors choosing, Ovarian Cancer Action.

Full details of the award can be found on the CHFWRF website

Read the original paper here: