Welcome, Sophie!

The Heinrich Lab has a new Research Assistant! Sophie Vahsholtz joined the lab in October 2022. She graduated with a B.S. in biology with a focus on genetics from Oregon State University in June 2022. Sophie aids in tissue culture, drug sensitivity studies, and other projects in the lab. Welcome, Sophie!

2022 GCRF Conference and Luncheon

Every year, we look forward to the GIST Cancer Research Fund Conference and Luncheon at OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute, not only to share insight about the latest treatments with patients and their families, but to reconnect with each other. In addition to working toward finding a cure for GIST, it’s so important to all of us in the Heinrich Lab to foster a community of collaboration and education for everyone who cares about GIST. We want to express our sincere gratitude to the GCRF for another very generous donation this year to be used in our efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease. Together, we can overcome this!

For those of you who were unable to join us, click HERE to view the recorded presentations.

2022 GIST Cancer Fundraising Walks

The GIST Cancer Research Fund is a GIST patient-run non-profit organization that has generously supported the GIST cancer research performed in the Heinrich Lab for over two decades, in addition to supporting several other GIST research programs around the country. Without their support, the immense progress that has been made in improving GIST patient care would not have been possible. Every year, Dr. Heinrich attends fundraising walks to support the GCRF and their efforts to find a cure. We’re so honored to take part in these events and to continue working for a better future for GIST patients.

Welcome to the Heinrich Lab, Kevin!

Kevin is an undergraduate student at UCLA pursuing his B.S. in psychobiology. Over the summer, Kevin worked on discovering avapritinib resistance mutations and continues to assist in various projects in the lab. In his free time, Kevin likes to play tennis and basketball with his friends. We’re so excited to work with you, Kevin!

Kevin Hong

Recap of the Heinrich Lab’s 2020 GCRF Virtual Fundraiser Walk

We want to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who participated in the Heinrich Lab’s 2020 GCRF Virtual Fundraiser Walk in Portland, Oregon. Although we could not reunite in person to walk with many patients, families, and friends, a few of us were able to gather to show our support for GIST research.  We especially want to express our deep appreciation to the GCRF community for their generous donation of $75,000 this year. With your amazing fundraising efforts, we are able to continue to work hard to find a cure for this devastating disease. Check out the photos and videos of our walk with Dr. Michael Heinrich!

Welcome to the Heinrich Lab, Homma!

We have a new graduate student in the Heinrich Lab, so please join us in welcoming Homma!  Homma Khosroyani graduated from the University of Washington in 2016 with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental biology and a minor in microbiology.  She is currently pursuing a PhD in the OHSU Cancer Biology graduate program.  Homma’s project in the lab will focus on using CRISPR/Cas9 screens to characterize cancer cell quiescence in GIST.

Welcome to the Heinrich Lab, Jason!

We have a new graduate student in the Heinrich Lab, so please join us in welcoming Jason Kent!  Jason is currently pursuing his PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology at OHSU. He has been a part of the Heinrich Lab since the spring of 2017. He graduated with a B.S in Biochemistry at California Polytechnic State University San Luis
Obispo in 2014. Jason is using a functional yeast model to study SDH deficiency in GIST. 

Congratulations, Lilli and Amber!

We are so proud to congratulate our graduate students, Dr. Lillian Klug and Dr. Amber Bannon, on their successful completion of PhD programs at OHSU!  Dr. Klug presented her dissertation, “LMTK3 is necessary for oncogenic signaling and survival in KIT-mutant GIST and melanoma,” on Friday, September 22nd, 2017, and obtained her doctorate from the OHSU Cancer Biology Program.  Dr. Bannon presented her dissertation, “Translating Genetic Data into Actionable Clinical Guidelines: SDHA Variants of Unknown Significance in GIST,” on Friday, September 29th, 2017, and obtained her doctorate from the OHSU Department of Cell and Developmental Biology.  We have watched these ladies grow so much over the years and their contributions to GIST research and future therapies are invaluable!

Lilli Klug receives AACR 2016 Women in Cancer Scholar Award


We are proud to announce that our graduate student, Lilli Klug, will receive an American Association for Cancer Research 2016 Women in Cancer Scholar Award at this year’s conference in New Orleans.  Congratulations, Lilli!

Abstract 191: LMTK3 is a novel regulator of oncogenic KIT in KIT-mutant cancers
Poster Session: Kinases and Phosphatases – #16
Sunday, April 17, 1 – 5 p.m.



Lillian Rose Klug, BS

Graduate Student
Oregon Health & Science University
Portland, Oregon

The ultimate goal of my research is to identify novel targets that may lead to improved therapies for patients with imatinib-resistant KIT-mutant cancers. I find this translational potential of cancer biology research incredibly rewarding and intend to pursue this goal throughout my career.”



2015 GIST Educational Conference and Luncheon

On April 21st, 2015, the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and the GIST Cancer Research Fund hosted the Annual GIST Educational Conference, which provided an opportunity for Dr. Chris Corless, Dr. Michael Heinrich, Ms. Caroline Macuiba, and Dr. Brian Druker to speak to patients and their families about some of the advancements made in GIST cancer research during the last year.  In addition to gaining insight and information about this horrible disease, this event is a chance to reconnect with familiar faces and share in our hope for a cure.  The GCRF also presented us with a generous donation of $100,000 for continuing research.  We could not be more thankful for their amazing fundraising efforts.  Our motivation to find a cure is more enthusiastic than ever before.

DSC_0342DSC_0327DSC_0300 DSC_0298DSC_0296DSC_0272 DSC_0263 DSC_0229 DSC_0227 DSC_0191 DSC_0161 DSC_0150 DSC_0127 DSC_0111