Award for Community Advancement in Resource-Limited Settings

Acknowledges those improving their own communities with dedication to providing or facilitating advanced medical education and training in resource-limited settings to improve screening, prevention, and treatment of women affected by gynecologic cancer.

Asima Mukhopadhyay, MBBS, DGO, MD, MRCOG, CCT (Gyn Oncology), PhD, MSc
India/UK

Dr. Mukhopadhyay is being honored with the IGCS Award for Community Advancement in Resource-Limited Settings in recognition for her commitment to improving gynecologic oncology services in her home county of India and other low- and middle-income countries. She advocates for women in medicine and her mentorship efforts with training sites in Nepal and Kolkata to build their capacity for sustainable fellowship training though the IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum and Mentorship Program and leading Project ECHO virtual tumor boards. She also started the Kolkata Gynecology Oncology Trials and Translational Research Group (the first research group from India and South Asia to be a member of GCIG).

About Dr. Mukhopadhyay

Asima Mukhopadhyay is a Gynaecological Oncologist (surgeon) and clinician scientist working in the UK (James Cook University Hospital and Newcastle University) and in the India (Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata). She obtained her MBBS from Medical College, Kolkata; MD from All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi (Gold Medal); Speciality training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UK and Gynaecological Oncology (Northern Gynaecological Oncology Centre, Gateshead), MSc in Clinical trials (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and a PhD (Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, awarded faculty prize).

It was during her PhD, that she made a discovery that 50% of epithelial ovarian cancers are homologous recombination deficient (HRD) based on a functional assay developed by her from primary ovarian tumour tissues (ascitic fluid) and that HRD cancers respond to PARP inhibitors. Results were first published in CRUK/NCRI press release and national media in 2010- ahead of publication of the TGCA data; the functional assay has since been used in several research projects and publications in UK and in India.

Her key clinical and research interests include:

  1. Ovarian cancer cytoreductive surgery and targeted strategies (precision surgery)
  2. Translational clinical research in gynaecological cancers involving regulation of tumour microenvironment by HRD status and therapeutic application of this knowledge in clinical settings.
  3. Patient advocacy and cancer health inequality

With this goal, she set up a cytoreductive surgery program and the PROVAT (Project ovarian translational) group of studies in India in 2015 and the Kolkata Gynecological Oncology Trials and Translational Research Group (KolGoTrg)- which is the first ever research group from India to become a member of the Gynecological Cancer Intergroup (GCIG)- thus creating an platform for participation in International academic clinical trials and future development of trials suited for LMICs through an OCRN (ovarian cancer research network) initiative. She was awarded the prestigious Wellcome Trust India Alliance Clinician Scientist Fellowship in 2018, the first woman surgeon in the region to receive so.  

She is passionate about setting up cytoreductive surgery programs and training in Gynaecological Oncology. She is the mentor for IGCS training program (Nepal and India) and ESGO representing India and UK and an active member of several international guideline groups (ASCO/IGCS) in Gynaecological Oncology.

The royalty that she receives, being one of the co-developers of the PARP inhibitor rucaparib has been donated to support research capacity building in India through KolGoTrg.