the shepherd lab

“The occasional success, to the striver, 
  is worth EVERYTHING.”
                    - Mary Oliver

our research

Autophagy in ovarian cancer spheroids and metastasis: When cells are starved for nutrients they will tend to activate strategies to ensure survival until normal growth conditions are restored. We discovered that ovarian cancer spheroids induce the process of macroautophagy (or commonly referred to as autophagy), a universal process among eukaryotes whereby cells engulf cytoplasmic organelles and macromolecules within double-membraned autophagosomes, then degrade the contents by fusion with lysosomes to recycle essential metabolites under bioenergetic stress conditions. We are currently determining whether autophagy represents a therapeutic vulnerability of ovarian cancer during metastasis and in the state of tumour dormancy during minimal residual disease.