On Saturday, June 22nd, The Life Raft Group hosted its annual GIST Day of Learning event at OHSU in Portland, Oregon. Attendees gathered to learn about the latest GIST research and get support. Some participated in the GIST Do It Walk across the Tillikum Crossing bridge over the Willamette River. Speakers presented new information on GIST treatments, immunotherapy, clinical trials, and SDH-deficient GIST. After a question and answer session, everyone gathered on the rooftop patio to mingle.
The Heinrich Lab would like to thank the Life Raft Group and all of the organizers, speakers, patients, and participants for joining us at this special event. It’s always a joy to see familiar faces and connect over our common goal to find a cure for GIST.
Each year, we look forward to the annual 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 researchers, physicians, patients, and families. We want to express our sincere gratitude to the GCRF for another very generous donation to our efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease.
This year’s conference was highlighted by the special presentation of a cupcake from Dr. Brian Druker to Tania Stutman, in celebration of her 70th birthday. Mrs. Stutman was one of the first GIST patients to take Gleevec nearly 20 years ago, which Dr. Druker developed. We all sang “Happy Birthday” to honor this amazing woman and we want to thank her for everything she’s done for other GIST patients.
Please be sure to watch our special Lab Tour video from last year and see below for links to the speakers’ presentations:
On Saturday, April 27th, Dr. Heinrich participated in the Vancouver GIST Day of Learning, sponsored by the GIST Sarcoma Life Raft Group Canada. He spoke about the “Development of the Next Generation of GIST Treatments” to GIST patients, family, caregivers and healthcare professionals. These events provide an essential educational and support resource for people who have GIST.
GDOL is a free one day event to help patients and caregivers learn more about this rare cancer, find support, and enhance their knowledge base to help them navigate their cancer journey.
The Life Raft Group has a simple focus: to cure a form of cancer — GIST — and to help those living with it until then. To do this, the Life Raft Group focuses on three key areas: research, patient support & education, and advocacy, which lay the foundation of our mission to ensure the survival of GIST patients through a comprehensive approach connecting individual patients’ needs, the worldwide community of GIST advocates and the global health and research environment.
We want to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who participated in the 2018 GIST Education Conference and Luncheon. This event is always an excellent opportunity to connect and share information with patients, families, and friends who feel passionate about finding novel GIST treatments. Plus, we love the chance to see familiar faces and meet new people who care about GIST. Of course, we want to express our deep appreciation to the GCRF community for their incredibly generous donation. With your amazing fundraising efforts, we are able to continue to work hard to find a cure for this devastating disease.
Please be sure to watch our special Video of Dr. Heinrich and see below for links to the speakers’ presentations:
Join us for our annual 2018 GIST Educational Conference and Luncheon on Tuesday, May 8th, 2018, hosted by the GIST Cancer Research Fund and OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the latest GIST research at OHSU, ask questions, and share your experiences. We look forward to seeing you!
We are excited to congratulate our fearless leader, Dr. Michael Heinrich, on receiving the 2018 OHSU Clinical Scholar Research Award. This award recognizes physicians who have excelled in clinical research activity over the past year and allows them time to pursue even more innovative research during the coming year in an effort to discover new cancer prevention or treatment therapies.
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.
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!