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Ronny Drapkin, MD, PhD

Ronny Drapkin, MD, PhD Researcher

Director, Gynecologic Cancer Research, Basser Center for BRCA Director, Ovarian Cancer Research Center Franklin Payne Associate Professor of Pathology in Obstetrics & Gynecology

Dr. Drapkin is employed by Penn Medicine.

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Clinical Specialties

Programs & Centers:

Practice Locations and Appointments

Education and Training

Medical School: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Residency: Brigham and Women's Hospital
Fellowship: Harvard Medical School
Fellowship: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Adelson Program in Cancer Research, Adelson Med Research Foundation, International American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), National American Association of Cancer Research, National American Society of Clinical Oncology, National Auckland Medical Research Foundation (New Zealand), International Cancer Research UK (CRUK), International College of American Pathology, National European Society of Medical Oncology, International Faculty of 1000, International International Gynecologic Cancer, International Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC), International Medical and Scientific Review Committee, United Kingdom Ovarian Cancer Action, International Ovarcome, National Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, New York, NY, International Pear Tree Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA, National Repare Therapeutics Inc., National Siamab Therapeutics, Cambridge, MA, National Society of Gynecologic Oncology, National The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute-Women’s Reproductive Cancers Initiative, National The Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer, International

Hospital Affiliation

Dr. Drapkin is employed by Penn Medicine.


Description of Research Expertise:


The Drapkin laboratory focuses on developing a comprehensive understanding of the genetic, molecular and physiological factors that drive the development of cancer, with a special focus on gynecologic malignancies. Recent work from our group and others has implicated the fallopian tube (FT) secretory cell as the likely cell-of-origin for a majority of high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas. This new concept of ovarian tumorigenesis has been a paradigm shift in the field and the Drapkin lab has been at the forefront in developing novel experimental platforms that address the role of the FT epithelium and its susceptibility to neoplastic transformation. These platforms include genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models, fallopian tube-derived cell lines, and patient-derived tumor xenografts. The lab is currently focused on utilizing these models to interrogate how genetic and epigenetic alterations influence lineage dependencies, genomic instability, DNA repair, replicative stress, and metabolism. The goal is to define selective vulnerabilities that can guide novel therapeutic approaches and biomarker development.

KEYWORDS: Ovarian cancer, Fallopian tube, Genomics/Epigenomics of precursor lesions, Cyclin E, Replication Stress, BRCA1/2, DNA Repair, Protein complexes, Biomarkers, Animal models.


Rotation projects are open to students in each of the areas the lab focuses on. Please see Ronny Drapkin to discuss potential rotation projects.


Marilyn Mitchell, Lab Manager
Natalia Tulina, Research Specialist
Priyanka Rawat, Bioinformatics Specialist
Daniele Moreira, Pharm PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher
Paul Kroeger Jr, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher
Yasuko Kinose, MD, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor
Hunter Reavis, Graduate Student


Denise Curley

Selected Publications:

Hooda J, Novak M, Salomon MP, Matsuba C, Ramos RI, MacDuffie E, Song M, Hirsch MS, Lester J, Parkash V, Karlan BY, Oren M, Hoon DS, Drapkin R.: Early loss of Histone H2B monoubiquitylation alters chromatin accessibility and activates key immune pathways that facilitate progression of ovarian cancer. Cancer Research 79 (4): 760-772,2019.

Lucido CT, Wynja E, Madeo M, Williamson CS, Schwartz LE, Imblum BA, Drapkin R, Vermeer PD.: Innervation of cervical carcinoma is mediated by cancer-derived exosomes. Gynecol Oncol. 154 (1): 228-235,2019.

Labidi-Galy SI, Papp E, Hallberg D, Niknafs N, Adleff V, Noe M, Bhattacharya R, Novak M, Jones S, Phallen J, Hruban CA, Hirsch MS, Lin DI, Schwartz L, Maire CL, Tille JC, Bowden M, Ayhan A, Wood LD, Scharpf RB, Kurman R, Wang TL, Shih IM, Karchin R, Drapkin R*, Velculescu VE*., * Co-senior/corresponding authors: High grade serous ovarian carcinomas originate in the fallopian tube. Nature Communications 8 (1): 1093,2017.

Au-Yeung G, Lang F, Azar WJ, Mitchell C, Jarman KE, Lackovic K, Aziz D, Cullinane C, Pearson RB, Mileshkin L, Rischin D, Karst AM, Drapkin R, Etemadmoghadam D, Bowtell DD.: Selective targeting of Cyclin E1 amplified high grade serous ovarian cancer by cyclin-dependent kinase 2 and AKT inhibition. Clin Can Res 23 (7): 1862-1874,2017.

Liu JF, Palakurthi S, Zeng Q, Zhou S, Ivanova E, Huang W, Zervantonakis IK, Selfors LM, Shen Y, Pritchard CC, Zheng M, Adleff V, Papp E, Piao H, Novak M, Fotheringham S, Wulf G, English J, Kirschmeier PT, Velculescu VE, Paweletz CP, Mills GB, Livingston DM, Brugge JS, Matulonis UA, Drapkin R.: Establishment of patient-derived tumor xenograft models of epithelial ovarian cancer for pre-clinical evaluation of novel therapeutics. Clin Can Res 23 (5): 1263-1273,2017.

Elias KM, Emori MM, Westerling T, Long H, Budina-Kolomets A, Li F, MacDuffie E, Davis MR, Holman A, Lawney B, Freedman ML, Quackenbush J, Brown M, Drapkin R.: Epigenetic remodeling regulates transcriptional changes between ovarian cancer and benign precursors. JCI Insight 1 (13): e87988,2016.

Davidowitz RA, Selfors LM, Iwanicki MP, Karst AM, Piao HY, Ince TA, Dering J, Konecny GE, Matulonis U, Mills GB, Slamon DJ, Drapkin R*, Brugge JS*. Co-senior/corresponding authors.: Mesenchymal gene program-expressing ovarian cancer spheroids exhibit enhanced mesothelial clearance. J Clin Invest 124(6):2611-25 : 2014.

Karst AM, Jones PM, Vena N, Ligon AH, Liu JF, Hirsch MS, Etemadmoghadam D, Bowtell DD, Drapkin R: Cyclin E1 deregulation occurs early in secretory cell transformation to promote formation of fallopian tube-derived high-grade serous ovarian cancers. Cancer Res 74 (4): 1141-52,2014.

Perets R, Muto KW, Bijron JG, Poole BB, Chin KT, Kwak S, Chen JYH, Karst AM, Setlur SR, Hirsch MS, Crum CP, Dinulescu DM, Drapkin R: Transformation of the fallopian tube secretory epithelium leads to high-grade serous ovarian cancer in Brca;Tp53;Pten models. *Highlighted in Nature Reviews Cancer, Cancer Discovery, and Cancer Research. Cancer Cell 24: 751-65 : 2013.

Karst AM, Levanon K, Drapkin R: Modeling high-grade serous ovarian carcinogenesis from the fallopian tube. *Highlighted in Nature Reviews Cancer and JNCI Proc Natl Acad Sci 108: 7547-7552 : 2011.

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Academic Contact Info

University of Pennsylvania
Biomedical Research Building
421 Curie Blvd., Rm. 1215

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 746-3973
Patient appointments: 800-789-7366 (PENN)