Analisa DiFeo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Dr. Analisa DiFeo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School. She completed her doctoral research in 2008 at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York where she played a central role in defining alternative splicing of the KLF6 gene family as a key regulator in ovarian cancer. Prior to joining the University of Michigan Medical School in 2018, Dr. DiFeo was The Norma C. and Albert I. Geller Designated Professor in Ovarian Cancer Research and an Assistant Professor in the Division of General Medical Sciences (Oncology) at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. While at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. DiFeo developed the Gynecologic Oncology Translational Research Program within the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and built a well-integrated, state-of-the-art research program with a rich repository of patient-derived cell lines and mouse ovarian cancer models that are highly useful for translational research and is perfectly poised to perform impactful translational research to detect ovarian cancer earlier and treat it more effectively. Dr. DiFeo’s dedication to research is evidenced by her accomplishments, which include >50 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals such as The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Nature Communications and Science Translational Medicine. In addition, Dr. DiFeo has been able to secure numerous federal, foundation and industry grants including the OCRFA Liz Tilberis Independent Investigator Award, two Department of Defense awards, three Mary Kay Foundation awards, a Lilly Research Award through Eli Lilly and Company, a National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) preclinical research award and R01 funding through the National Cancer Institute. Lastly, through her efforts in bringing awareness to ovarian cancer and developing a gynecological cancer translational research program in Northeast Ohio, she was chosen as Crain’s Cleveland Business 40 Under 40 honoree in 2014. Beyond the aforementioned research, Dr. DiFeo devotes considerable effort to training and mentoring our future scientists. She has served numerous T32 Training Program steering committees and she co-founded and serve as Chair of the Board of Scientific Advisors of The Young Scientist Foundation (YSF) (ysf.org). She has trained numerous clinical and basic scientists in her laboratory including 7 Gynecologic Oncology Fellows, 2 post-doctoral fellows, 4 graduate students, 6 medical students, 6 undergraduates, 13 high school students and she has served on 18 PhD & MSTP thesis committees.
The DiFeo lab is a well-integrated, state-of-the-art research program with a rich repository of patient-derived mouse ovarian and endometrial cancer models that are highly useful for translational research and is perfectly poised to perform impactful translational research to detect these cancers earlier and treat them more effectively. The overall goal of Dr. DiFeo's laboratory is to identify novel biomarkers of ovarian cancer therapeutic response and generate targeted molecular therapies that can work alone or in conjunction with current treatment options to combat ovarian cancer. In addition, one of the main research areas focuses on determining the mechanism by which microRNAs are involved in ovarian cancer biology and the development of chemoresistance. Our lab has extensive knowledge in the use of in vivo mouse models to investigate disease progression and evaluate novel targeted molecular therapies for ovarian cancer.