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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.

Clinical Specialties


  • Gynecologic Oncology

Programs & Centers:

Clinical Expertise:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Cancer Clinical Trials
  • Cancer Screening and Diagnostics
  • Chemotherapy for Gynecologic Cancers
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • Gynecologic Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Uterine Cancer

Practice Locations and Appointments


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 Association of Investigative Pathology, National American Society of Clinical Oncology, National Association for International Cancer Research, International Auckland Medical Research Foundation (New Zealand), International Aura Bioscience, Inc, Cambridge, MA, National Cancer Research UK (CRUK), International Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE), National Institute of Health , National College of American Pathology, National David Mazzone Research Award Program, National European Society of Medical Oncology, International Faculty of 1000, International Forma Therapeutics, Inc., National Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, Local Grant Review Activity: Member Gynecologic Research Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Committee, Local International Gynecologic Cancer, International Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) , International Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, National Massachusetts Medical Society, National Medical and Scientific Review Committee, United Kingdom Ovarian Cancer Action, International Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG, International Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, New York, NY, International Ovarian Cancer SPORE, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, WA, National Ovations for the Cure Foundation, Framingham, MA, National Pear Tree Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA, National Reviewer, Research Program, Mary Kay Foundation, National Siamab Therapeutics, Cambridge, MA, National Society of Gynecologic Oncology, National Society of Translational Oncology, 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, 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
Kai Doberstein, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher
Jagmohan Hooda, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher
Sarah Stuckelberger, MD, Postdoctoral Researcher
Daniele Moreira, Pharm PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher
Paul Kroeger Jr, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher
Yasuko Kinose, MD, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor
Sho Sato, MD, Postdoctoral Researcher
Yi Feng, Graduate Student
Andrea Klein, Undergraduate Student
Cristina Arruza, Undergraduate Student
Melissa Song, Undergraduate Student


Denise Curley

Selected Publications:

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.

Kroeger PT Jr, Drapkin R: Pathogenesis and heterogeneity of ovarian cancer Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol 29 (1): 26-34,2017.

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.

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*: Mesenchymal gene program-expressing ovarian cancer spheroids exhibit enhanced mesothelial clearance. *co-corresponding authors J Clin Invest 124(6):2611-25 : 2014.

Elias KM, Emori MM, Papp E, MacDuffie E, Konecny GE, Velculescu VE, Drapkin R.: Beyond genomics: critical evaluation of cell line utility for ovarian cancer research. Gynecol Oncol 139 (1): 97-103,2015.

Labidi-Galy SI, Clauss A, Ng V, Duraisamy S, Elias KM, Piao HY, Bilal E, Davidowitz RA, Lu Y, Badalian-Very G, Gyorffy B, Kang UB, Ficarro SB, Ganesan S, Mills GB, Marto JA, Drapkin R: Elafin drives poor outcome in high-grade serous ovarian cancers and basal-like breast tumors. Oncogene 34(3):373-83 : 2015.

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.

View all publications

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)