2013-08-26 14:11:47 UTC

New Grant Supports Young Investigators Committed to Gastric and Esophageal Cancer Research

Bethesda, MD (Aug. 26, 2013) — The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Foundation is pleased to announce that it has partnered with the Gastric Cancer Foundation (GCF) to create a new grant to support research in gastric and esophageal cancer. The AGA Institute will match GCF’s commitment of $1.125 million, resulting in a $2.25 million endowment to fund young investigators whose research will enhance the fundamental understanding of gastric (stomach) and esophageal cancer pathobiology in order to ultimately prevent or develop a cure for these diseases.

“We are pleased to join with the Gastric Cancer Foundation to create this new research scholar award in gastric and esophageal cancer,” said Martin Brotman, MD, AGAF, chair, AGA Research Foundation. “This award will assure that we can fund young investigators who have the best ideas in upper GI cancer research and provide them with the tools needed to continue their research careers for years to come.”

The National Cancer Institute estimates that in the U.S. in 2013, 21,600 new cases of stomach cancer and 17,990 news cases of esophageal cancer will be diagnosed, and more than 26,200 Americans will die from these diseases.

“Through our new partnership with AGA, we have a powerful opportunity to fund research that will make a difference in curing stomach cancer,” said Wayne L. Feinstein, chairman, Gastric Cancer Foundation. “Despite its fatal consequences, in the U.S., stomach cancer receives just 0.4 percent of federal funding for cancer research. Funding for esophageal cancer is also alarmingly low. We are proud to join with AGA to advance research and carry out our mission.”

The AGA–Gastric Cancer Foundation Research Scholar Award in Gastric and Esophageal Cancer will be provided to young researchers at the beginning of their careers who are interested in advancing the understanding of gastric or esophageal cancer for their fellow researchers, patients and the public. Recipients will receive $90,000 per year for three years to protect a major proportion of their time for research focused on better understanding these diseases.

Researchers interested in applying for the AGA-Gastric Cancer Foundation Research Scholar Award in Gastric and Esophageal Cancer should visit www.gastro.org/foundation. The application deadline is Dec. 13, 2013. Members of the AGA Research Awards Panel and representatives of the Gastric Cancer Foundation will review the proposals and select the award recipients. Funding will commence in July 2014.

This gift from the Gastric Cancer Foundation, along with AGA’s matching support, will be invested for growth, with all interest from the endowment supporting future grants.

About the AGA Research Foundation

The AGA Research Foundation, formerly known as the Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition, is the cornerstone of AGA’s effort to expand digestive disease research funding. Since 1984, the AGA, through its foundations, has provided more than $40 million in research grants to more than 770 scientists. The AGA Research Foundation serves as a bridge to the future of research in gastroenterology and hepatology by providing critical funding to advance the careers of young researchers between the end of training and the establishment of credentials that earn National Institutes of Health grants. Learn more about the AGA Research Foundation or make a contribution at www.gastro.org/foundation.

About the AGA Institute

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to include 17,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization. www.gastro.org

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About the Gastric Cancer Foundation

Since 2009, the Gastric Cancer Foundation (GCF) has led a call-to-action to build awareness of stomach cancer and to expand resources and understanding of the disease. In 2011, GCF launched the first national Gastric Cancer Registry, a data bank of information and tissue samples that fuels research to find new strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment. GCF is also primary contributor to a project that is creating a digital version of the gastric cancer genome based on DNA sequencing. GCF is devoted to funding stomach cancer research in pursuit of a cure. For more information about GCF or to make a donation, please visit www.gastriccancer.org.