OC3 Leadership

fortnerDr. Renee Fortner leads the Hormones and Cancer Group in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany. The goal of Dr. Fortner’s research is to provide meaningful, actionable knowledge on the etiology of breast and gynecologic cancers toward prevention and earlier detection. To that end, she conducts studies on lifestyle and reproductive factors, as well as circulating hormones, hormonally active metabolites, growth factors, inflammation factors and markers of infection in relation to cancer risk, and is active in investigations of serologic markers for ovarian cancer early detection. Dr. Fortner earned her Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health, before joining the DKFZ. She co-chairs the European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort gynecologic cancer working group.



Dr. Britton Trabert is an Earl Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Trabert’s research program focuses on clarifying the role of systemic and local (tubal) inflammation and infection in gynecologic cancer, with a primary focus on ovarian and endometrial. She has published and continues to lead studies in OC3 to understand the role of anti-inflammatory medications, particularly low-dose aspirin, in reducing ovarian cancer risk. In addition to her work focused on the inflammatory origins of ovarian cancer, Dr. Trabert also leads research focused on the hormonal etiology of female cancers. Dr. Trabert earned her M.S.P.H. in epidemiology from Emory University, her M.S. in biostatistics from the University of Michigan, and her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Washington with a focus in reproductive epidemiology and women’s health before completing postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute.


tworogerDr. Shelley Tworoger received her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Washington, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Tworoger conducts research to (1) Elucidate how the host macroenvironment both drives tumor development and heterogeneity and interacts with the tumor microenvironment to impact progression of ovarian and breast cancers, (2) Identify and evaluate novel factors associated with ovarian cancer risk and survival, incorporating information about markers tumor heterogeneity,(3) Develop and lead consortial research approaches, (4) Identify how the biologic consequences of psychosocial stress and distress influence carcinogenesis, and (5) Elucidate the hormonal etiology of breast cancer and integrating biologic markers into risk prediction models, with an ultimate goal of identifying approaches to integrate risk prediction into the clinic.


wentzensenDr. Nicolas Wentzensen received an M.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 2000. He trained in general surgery and conducted research in surgical oncology in the Department of Surgery, University of Heidelberg. Dr. Wentzensen earned his Ph.D. in Applied Tumor Biology at the Institute of Pathology, University of Heidelberg. Dr. Wentzensen’s research is focused on etiologic heterogeneity and biomarker discovery of gynecological cancers, mainly cervical and ovarian. He conducts tissue based profiling studies in the Ovarian Cancer Case-Control Study in Poland to help improve the understanding of etiologic heterogeneity and to identify cells of origin of ovarian cancers based on molecular profiles of normal reproductive tissues.


OC3 Steering Committee

(alphabetical order)
Alan Arslan New York University
Alpa Patel American Cancer Society
Britton Trabert National Cancer Institute
Emily White Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Holly Harris Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Kala Visvanathan Johns Hopkins University
Lisa Gallicchio National Cancer Institute
Melissa Merritt University of Hawaii Cancer Center
Mia Gaudet American Cancer Society
Nicholas Wentzensen National Cancer Institute
Renee Fortner German Cancer Research Center
Shelley Tworoger Moffitt Cancer Center