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What keeps our researchers motivated?

03 October 2023

Our scientists at the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre, The University of Oxford, and beyond, are on a mission to unlock life-changing discoveries for women facing ovarian cancer.

Breakthroughs can take time. But our scientists thrive on the challenge! And many important learnings are found along the way.

We've asked them what keeps their spirits high during the tough moments, who inspires them, and what makes them hopeful for the future. Want to hear their inspiring stories?


Professor Iain McNeish | What keeps you motivated on a hard day?

In clinic, telling a woman that her cancer has come back is one of the most difficult things ever, for all the reasons that you can imagine. What keeps me going is knowing that there are still lots of things we can do to help women with ovarian cancer that comes back and that we are working really hard to develop better treatments.

Ahmed lab2

Professor Ahmed Ahmed | Who inspires you?

Professor Bob Bast, MD Anderson Cancer Centre, for his discovery of CA125 and for his exceptional dedication to science. And, of course, the women for whom all my research is conducted.

Dr Pavlina Spiliopolou

Dr Pavlina Spiliopoulou | What keeps you motivated on a hard day?

I think both for clinical and lab days, the motivation always comes from patients. Disappointments in science and clinic are not infrequent but knowing that my work might contribute in even the slightest way to changing someone’s life for the better always helps me keep going.


Dr Jonathan Krell | What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Helping patients through both the good and bad times. All of our amazing patients give me the motivation I need to keep working to improve what we are able to do to help them. The job is very hard but when we manage to improve a patients quality of life that’s probably the most fulfilling part of it.

James Flanagan.jpg

Dr James Flanagan | What excites you about the future?

For patients, and women in the general population, we are getting closer to having an appropriate test to establish an individual’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The researchers of the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre work tirelessly towards breakthroughs in ovarian cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatments.

We're constantly inspired by their dedication to their work and to improving the future for women with ovarian cancer.

Find out more about their work on the research projects hub.