Caroline Ford

Associate Professor

Associate Professor Caroline Ford is a cancer researcher within the School of Women's and Children's Health at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre. After completing her PhD at UNSW on the topic of oncogenic viruses, A/Prof Ford undertook two international postdoctoral appointments in cancer research. Her first postdoctoral research appointment was at the University of Toronto, Canada and the second appointment was at Lund University, Sweden. She returned to UNSW in late 2009 funded by an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship and established her research group within the Adult Cancer Program.

A/Prof Ford leads the Gynaecological Cancer Research Group (GCRG), which aims to understand why gynaecological cancers develop, how and why they spread throughout the body, and how best to treat them. “Gynaecological cancer” encompasses all cancers of the female reproductive system, though our current research focuses on ovarian and endometrial cancer. The GCRG works closely with clinical staff at the Royal Hospital for Women, and has a number of studies involving sample collection from patients. Current projects include the development of an early detection test for ovarian cancer, and the identification of key targets for anti-metastatic therapies in ovarian and endometrial cancer. We are also investigating properties of ascites, a fluid build-up associated with aggressive disease.

The group has a particular interest in the Wnt signalling pathway, an important signalling pathway involved in metastasis. They investigate the regulation of a number of key proteins (ROR1 & ROR2) involved in this pathway, to better understand their role in the context of ovarian and endometrial cancer spread.

A/Prof Ford is an experienced university lecturer, convening courses on medical research, cancer pathology and personalised medicine, including Australia's first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Personalised Medicine. She has completed a Graduate Certificate in University Learning & Teaching, and is passionate about science communication and enhancing the health literacy of the wider community. In 2017 she was named as an inaugural ‘Superstar of STEM’ by Science & Technology Australia. In 2018 she received the Women's Agenda Award for Female Leader in Science, Medicine & Health.

Keywords: gynaecological cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, metastasis, Wnt, EMT, ROR1, ROR2, MOOC

Publications

Journal articles
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Huynh KT; Van Zuylen WJ; Ford CE; Rawlinson WD, 2019, 'Selective modulation of wnt-binding receptor tyrosine kinase ROR2 expression by human cytomegalovirus regulates trophoblast migration', Journal of General Virology, vol. 100, pp. 99 - 104, http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.001179
2019
Lu M; Henry CE; Lai H; Khine YY; Ford CE; Stenzel MH, 2019, 'A new 3D organotypic model of ovarian cancer to help evaluate the antimetastatic activity of RAPTA-C conjugated micelles', Biomaterials Science, vol. 7, pp. 1652 - 1660, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8bm01326h
2019
Werner B; Yuwono NL; Henry C; Gunther K; Rapkins RW; Ford CE; Warton K, 2019, 'Circulating cell-free DNA from plasma undergoes less fragmentation during bisulfite treatment than genomic DNA due to low molecular weight', PLoS ONE, vol. 14, pp. e0224338, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224338
2019
Henry CE; Llamosas E; Daniels B; Coopes A; Tang K; Ford CE, 2018, 'ROR1 and ROR2 play distinct and opposing roles in endometrial cancer', Gynecologic Oncology, vol. 148, pp. 576 - 584, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2018.01.025
2018
Cortesi M; Llamosas E; Henry CE; Kumaran RYA; Ng B; Youkhana J; Ford CE, 2018, 'I-AbACUS: A Reliable Software Tool for the Semi-Automatic Analysis of Invasion and Migration Transwell Assays', Scientific Reports, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22091-5
2018
Coopes A; Henry CE; Llamosas E; Ford CE, 2018, 'An update of Wnt signalling in endometrial cancer and its potential as a therapeutic target', Endocrine-Related Cancer, vol. 25, pp. R647 - R662, http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/ERC-18-0112
2018
Henry C; Hacker N; Ford C, 2017, 'Silencing ROR1 and ROR2 inhibits invasion and adhesion in an organotypic model of ovarian cancer metastasis', Oncotarget, vol. 8, pp. 112727 - 112738, http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22559
2017
Warton K; Yuwono NL; Cowley MJ; McCabe MJ; So A; Ford CE, 2017, 'Evaluation of Streck BCT and PAXgene Stabilised Blood Collection Tubes for Cell-Free Circulating DNA Studies in Plasma', Molecular Diagnosis and Therapy, vol. 21, pp. 563 - 570, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40291-017-0284-x
2017
Henry CE; Emmanuel C; Lambie N; Loo C; Kan B; Kennedy CJ; de Fazio A; Hacker NF; Ford CE, 2017, 'Distinct Patterns of Stromal and Tumor Expression of ROR1 and ROR2 in Histological Subtypes of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer', Translational Oncology, vol. 10, pp. 346 - 356, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2017.01.014
2017
Ma SSQ; Henry CE; Llamosas E; Higgins R; Daniels B; Hesson LB; Hawkins NJ; Ward RL; Ford CE, 2017, 'Validation of specificity of antibodies for immunohistochemistry: the case of ROR2', Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology, vol. 470, pp. 99 - 108, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00428-016-2019-5
2017
Henry C; ford C; hacker N; Djordjevic A; Llamosas E, 2016, 'Migration and invasion is inhibited by silencing ROR1 and ROR2 in chemoresistant ovarian cancer.', Oncogenesis, vol. 5, pp. e226, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/oncsis.2016.32
2016
Ma S; srivastava S; llamosas E; hawkins N; hesson L; ward R; Ford C, 2016, 'ROR2 is epigenetically inactivated in the early stages of colorectal neoplasia and is associated with proliferation and migration.', BMC Cancer, vol. 16, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-016-2576-7
2016
vanZuylen WJ; Rawlinson WD; Ford C, 2016, 'The Wnt pathway: a key network in cell signalling dysregulated by viruses.', Reviews in Medical Virology, vol. 26, pp. 340 - 355, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rmv.1892.
2016
Naumann F; Yang J-L; Thai T; Ford C; Polly P, 2016, 'Virtual patient consultations and the use of an ePortfolio assessment to support student learning of integrated professional skills', FOCUS ON HEALTH PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION-A MULTIDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL, vol. 17, pp. 69 - 81, http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/fohpe.v17i3.178
2016
van Zuylen WJ; Ford CE; Wong DDY; Rawlinson WD, 2016, 'Human cytomegalovirus modulates expression of noncanonical Wnt receptor ROR2 to alter trophoblast migration', Journal of Virology, vol. 90, pp. 1108 - 1115, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02588-15
2016
Henry C; Llamosas E; Djordjevic A; Hacker N; Ford C, 2016, 'Targeting the RB-E2F pathway in breast cancer', Oncogene, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/onc.2016.32
2016
Ma SSQ; Henry CE; Llamosas E; Higgins R; Daniels B; Hesson LB; Hawkins NJ; Ward RL; Ford CE, 2016, 'Erratum to: Validation of specificity of antibodies for immunohistochemistry: the case of ROR2 (Virchows Archiv, (2016), 10.1007/s00428-016-2019-5)', Virchows Archiv, vol. 469, pp. 717, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00428-016-2036-4
2016
Hesson LB; Ng B; Zarzour P; Srivastava S; Kwok CT; Packham D; Nunez AC; Beck D; Ryan R; Dower A; Ford CE; Pimanda JE; Sloane MA; Hawkins NJ; Bourke MJ; Wong JWH; Ward RL, 2016, 'Integrated genetic, epigenetic, and transcriptional profiling identifies molecular pathways in the development of laterally spreading tumors', Molecular Cancer Research, vol. 14, pp. 1217 - 1228, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-16-0175
2016
van Zuylen W; Ford C; Rawlinson W, 2016, 'Comment on: Wnt5a inhibited human trophoblast cell line HTR8/SVneo invasion: implications for early placentation and preeclampsia', The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, vol. 30, pp. 1085 - 1086, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14767058.2016.1203411
2016
Ford CE; Henry C; Llamosas E; Djordjevic A; Hacker N, 2016, 'Wnt signalling in gynaecological cancers: A future target for personalised medicine?', Gynecologic Oncology, vol. 140, pp. 345 - 351, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.09.085
2016
Henry C; Llamosas E; Knipprath-Meszaros A; Schoetzau A; Obermann E; Fuenfschilling M; Caduff R; Fink D; Hacker N; Ward R; Heinzelmann-Schwarz V; Ford C, 2015, 'Targeting the ROR1 and ROR2 receptors in epithelial ovarian cancer inhibits cell migration and invasion', Oncotarget, vol. 6, pp. 40310 - 40326, http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5643
2015
Henry CE; Knipprath-Meszaros AM; Llamosas E; Schotzau A; Obermann E; Fink D; Hacker N; Ward RL; Heinzelmann-Schwarz V; Ford CE, 2015, 'ROR2 IS A NOVEL TARGET OF THE WNT SIGNALING PATHWAY INVOLVED IN METASTASIS AND CHEMOTHERAPY RESISTANCE', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GYNECOLOGICAL CANCER, vol. 25, pp. 476 - 476, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000377145701094&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a
2015
Henry C; Quadir A; Hawkins NJ; Jary E; Llamosas E; Kumar D; Daniels B; Ward RL; Ford CE, 2014, 'Expression of the novel Wnt receptor ROR2 is increased in breast cancer and may regulate both β-catenin dependent and independent Wnt signalling', Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, vol. 141, pp. 243 - 254, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-014-1824-y
2014
Ford CE; Punnia-Moorthy G; Henry CE; Llamosas E; Nixdorf S; Olivier J; Caduff R; Ward RL; Heinzelmann-Schwarz V, 2014, 'The non-canonical Wnt ligand, Wnt5a, is upregulated and associated with epithelial to mesenchymal transition in epithelial ovarian cancer', Gynecologic Oncology, vol. 134, pp. 338 - 345, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2014.06.004
2014
Loh YN; Hedditch E; Baker L; Jary E; Ward RL; Ford CE, 2013, 'The Wnt signalling pathway is upregulated in acquired Tamoxifen resistant breast cancer.', BMC Cancer, vol. 13, pp. 174, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2407-13-174
2013
Ford CE; Ma SSQ; Quadir A; Ward RL, 2013, 'The dual role of the novel Wnt receptor tyrosine kinase, ROR2, in human carcinogenesis', International Journal of Cancer, vol. 133, pp. 779 - 787, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.27984
2013
Ford CE; Jary E; Ma SSQ; Nixdorf S; Heinzelmann-Schwarz VA; Ward RL, 2013, 'The WNT gatekeeper SFRP4 modulates EMT, cell migration and downstream WNT signalling in serous ovarian cancer cells', PLoS ONE, vol. 8, pp. e54362, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0054362
2013
Ford CE; Jary E; Ma S; Nixdorf S; Heinzelmann-Schwarz V; Ward RL, 2012, 'SFRP4 modulates EMT, cell migration and downstream Wnt signalling in epithelial ovarian cancer.', CANCER RESEARCH, vol. 72, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1538-7445.AM2012-333
2012
Jacob F; Ukegjini K; Nixdorf S; Ford CE; Olivier J; Caduff R; Scurry J; Guertler R; Hornung D; Mueller R; Fink D; Hacker NF; Heinzelmann-Schwarz VA, 2012, 'Loss of secreted frizzled-related protein 4 correlates with an aggressive phenotype and predicts poor outcome in ovarian cancer patients', PLoS One, vol. 7, pp. Art no. e31885, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0031885
2012
Johal H; Ford CE; Glenn W; Heads J; Lawson JS; Rawlinson WD, 2011, 'Mouse mammary tumor like virus sequences in breast milk from healthy lactating women', Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, vol. 129, pp. 149 - 155, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-011-1421-6
2011
Ford CE; Ekström EJ; Andersson T, 2010, 'Erratum: Wnt-5a signaling restores tamoxifen sensitivity in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cells (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United Stated of America (2010) 106 (3919-3924) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0809516106))', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 107, pp. 22360, http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1017549108
2010
Ford CE; Lau S; Zhu CQ; Andersson T; Tsao M; Vogel W, 2007, 'Expression and mutation analysis of the discoidin domain receptors 1 and 2 in non-small cell lung carcinoma.', British Journal of Cancer, vol. 96, pp. 808 - 814, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.bjc.6603614
2007
Vogel W; Abdulhussein R; Ford CE, 2006, 'Sensing extracellular matrix: An update on discoidin domain receptor function.', Cellular Signalling, vol. 18, pp. 1108 - 1116, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cellsig.2006.02.012
2006
Lawson JS; Tran D; Carpenter E; Ford C; Rawlinson WD; Whitaker NJ; Delprado W, 2006, 'Presence of mouse mammary tumour-like virus gene sequences may be associated with morphology of specific human breast cancer', Journal of Clinical Pathology, vol. 59, pp. 1287 - 1292, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jcp.2005.035907
2006
Pogo B; Menard S; Holland JF; Faedo M; Ford CE; Rawlinson WD, 2005, 'Contribution by Faedo et al. (Clin Cancer Res 2004;10:4417-4419) [1]', Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 11, pp. 406
2005
Ford CE; Faedo M; Delprado W; Rawlinson WD, 2004, 'Correspondence re: C. Ford, et al. Mouse mammary tumor virus-like gene sequences in breast tumors of Australian and Vietnamese women.', Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 10, pp. 802 - 802
2004
Ford CE; Faedo M; Lawson JS; Rawlinson WD; Crouch R, 2004, 'Progression from normal breast pathology to breast cancer is associated with increasing prevalence of mouse mammary tumor virus-like sequences in men and women.', Cancer research, vol. 64, pp. 4755 - 4759, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-03-3804
2004
Faedo M; Ford CE; Mehta R; Blazek K; Rawlinson WD, 2004, 'Mouse mammary tumor like virus is associated with p53 nuclear accumulation and progesterone receptor positivity but not estrogen positivity in human female breast cancer', Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 10, pp. 4417 - 4419, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-03-0232
2004
Lawson JS; Tran D; Ford CE; Rawlinson WD, 2004, 'Elevated expression of the tumor suppressing protein p53 is associated with the presence of mouse mammary tumor-like env gene sequences (MMTV-like) in human breast cancer', Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, vol. 87, pp. 13 - 17, http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:BREA.0000041573.09142.00
2004
Ford CE; Faedo M; Rawlinson WD, 2004, 'Mouse mammary tumor virus-like RNA transcripts and DNA are found inaffected cells of human breast cancer', Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 10, pp. 7284 - 7289, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-04-0767
2004
Ford CE; Tran D; Deng Y; Ta VT; Rawlinson WD; Lawson JS, 2003, 'Mouse mammary tumor virus-like gene sequences in breast tumors of Australian and Vietnamese women', Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 9, pp. 1118 - 1120
2003
Conference Presentations
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Nixdorf S; Chisholm OT; Gomes L; Ford C, 2016, 'Student Engagement in the Personalised Medicine MOOC: Does the Learning Platform Matter?', presented at UNSW Medicine Learning and Teaching Forum, UNSW, Sydney, 07 December 2016 - 07 December 2016
2016
Ford C; Chisholm O; Gomes L, 2016, 'The Hope and Hype of the Genetic Revolution: Reflections on UNSW Medicine's First MOOC', presented at Connections Seminar Series, UNSW Australia, UNSW Australia, 19 May 2016 - 19 May 2016
2016
Ford C; Chisholm OT; Gomes L, 2015, 'Hope and Hype: Reflections on UNSW Medicine's First MOOC', presented at 2015 UNSW Medicine Learning and Teaching Forum, UNSW, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 02 December 2015 - 02 December 2015, https://med.unsw.edu.au/annual-learning-and-teaching-forum
2015
Ford C, 2014, 'Hear the Ror! The role of Wnt signalling in ovarian cancer.', presented at International Society for Gynecologic Cancers, Melbourne, 08 November 2014 - 11 April 2015
2014
Chisholm O; Nixdorf S; Williams R; Ford C, 2014, 'Reflections on the development of an open online course', presented at UNSW Medicine Learning and Teaching Forum 2014, UNSW Australia, 10 December 2014 - 10 December 2014, http://med.unsw.edu.au/annual-learning-and-teaching-forum
2014
Ford CE; Henry CE; Llamosas E; Djordjevic A; Hacker NF; Heinzelmann-Schwarz VA; Ward RL, 2014, 'HEAR THE ROR! THE ROLE OF WNT SIGNALLING IN OVARIAN CANCER', Vol. 24, pp. 952 - 952, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000344966501261&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2014
Conference Papers
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Henry CE; Llamosas E; Hacker NF; Heinzelmann-Schwarz V; Ford CE, 2016, 'The role of the ROR receptors in ovarian cancer progression and chemoresistance', in CANCER RESEARCH, AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH, New Orleans, LA, presented at AACR 107th Annual Meeting on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, New Orleans, LA, 16 April 2016 - 20 April 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1538-7445.AM2016-1636
2016
Ford CE; Tuomela J; Hedditch EL; Axelsson L; Liu Q; Ward RL; Harkonen P; Andersson T, 2010, 'Estrogen receptor alpha is upregulated and metastasis inhibited in a murine breast cancer model following treatment with the novel Wnt-5a derived-hexapeptide, Foxy-5', in EJC SUPPLEMENTS, PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, Oslo, NORWAY, pp. 11 - 11, presented at 21st Meeting of the European-Association-for-Cancer-Research, Oslo, NORWAY, 26 June 2010 - 29 June 2010, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1359-6349(10)70852-1
2010
Kennedy S; Waliuzzaman Z; Ford C; Rawlinson W; Pussell B, 2005, 'Recurrent HUS following kidney transplant possibly precipitated by CMV', in IMMUNOLOGY AND CELL BIOLOGY, BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, Canberra, AUSTRALIA, pp. A16 - A17, presented at 23rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Transplantation-Society-of-Australia-and-New-Zealand, Canberra, AUSTRALIA, 11 May 2005 - 13 May 2005, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000230636500066&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2005
Conference Posters
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Chisholm OT; Gomes L; Thai T; Nixdorf S; Williams R; Clayphan A; Vigentini L; Zhang C; Zhao L; King M; Ford C, (ed.), 2016, 'Empowering Online Learners Using Assessment and Feedback', UNSW, presented at Towards 2025: Inspiring Learning, UNSW, 31 October 2016 - 31 October 2016
2016
Media
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Ford C; Chisholm O, 2015, Brace yourself genetic testing might give you more than you bargained for., https://theconversation.com/brace-yourself-genetic-testing-might-give-you-more-than-you-bargained-for-40246
2015