Who We Are: Our History

About The Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY, was founded in 1898 as the nation’s first center devoted to cancer research, setting the standard for today’s multidisciplinary approach to cancer research and patient care. Roswell Park is among a select group of Comprehensive Cancer Centers designated by the National Cancer Institute.

The Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry was established at Roswell Park in 1981 by then-Chair of Gynecologic Oncology, M. Steven Piver, MD. In 1990, it was named The Gilda Radner Registry to honor the memory of American comedian Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989. Her husband, actor and producer Gene Wilder generously agreed to lend his late wife’s name to the registry in an effort to increase awareness of the disease and to help national research efforts. The registry was renamed the Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry in 2013 to help expand awareness worldwide, and to foster increased collaborative partnerships with hospitals and research centers across the world.

The registry was renamed the Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry in 2013 to help expand awareness worldwide, and to foster increased collaborative partnerships with hospitals and research centers across the world.

Today the registry is led by two pioneers in ovarian cancer:

Kunle Odunsi, MD, PHD, FRCOG, FACOG

Deputy Director
Chair, Department of Gynecologic Oncology,
The M. Steven Piver Professor of Gynecologic Oncology
Executive Director of the Center for Immunotherapy

A world leader in ovarian cancer research, Dr. Odunsi’s work in identifying tumor antigens in ovarian cancer has led to the development of a treatment vaccine for the disease. In addition, Dr. Odunsi heads an Ovarian Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) a prestigious project funded by the National Cancer Institute. Under the direction of Dr. Odunsi, the Registry is investigating other genetic causes of ovarian cancer in order to better detect, prevent and treat the disease.  

Shasikant Lele, MD, FACOG

Clinical Chief, Gynecologic Oncology
Clinical Chair, Division of Surgical Subspecialties

Dr. Lele’s investigations include Gynecologic Oncology Group studies that include scientific and clinical research as well as innovations in ovarian cancer surgery and chemotherapy. He educates ovarian cancer patients and their family members about participating in the registry and how the research it supports can help women with ovarian cancer.