Founded in 1999 by Dr. Benedict Benigno, the Ovarian Cancer Institute (OCI) is dedicated to researching cancer of the ovaries. Dr. Benigno, a gynecologic oncologist, has practiced in Atlanta, Georgia for more than 30 years, and along with his partners, sees more cases of ovarian cancer than any other private practice in the country. The primary mission of the OCI is to develop innovative research leading to earlier detection and more effective treatment of ovarian cancer as well as to educate and heighten awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and treatment options.
OCI and the OCI Research Laboratories are located at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and are directed by OCI Chief Research Scientist and Professor and Chair of the School of Biology at Georgia Tech, Dr. John McDonald. In addition to his own research staff, Dr. McDonald has established collaborative relationships with the other major universities around the state: Clark Atlanta, Emory, Georgia State and the Medical College of Georgia, all of which have scientists and bioinformaticists who are participating either in research or data analysis.
Together, Dr. Benigno and Dr. McDonald have formed a collaborative partnership unique to any other research endeavor devoted to ovarian cancer.Tissue and serum samples are collected in Dr. Benigno’s operating room by a dedicated OCI nurse and immediately flash frozen in liquid nitrogen to preserve the DNA and proteins that will be available for study. Scientists in the lab then run the samples through a number of tests and use them in the OCI Laboratories’ research. Due to the pristine tumor samples and the availability of medical histories, the OCI Laboratories have established a highly comprehensive ovarian cancer research program that is unique to any other in the U.S. or the world. Currently, the OCI Laboratories have almost 600 tumor samples available for research.
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